Makerere Faculty

Prof. Ocama Ponsiano

Dr. Ponsiano Ocama, Consortium Co-Leader,  is an academic hepatologist and expert on viral hepatitis and HIV in resource-limited settings. He leads the GI/HepatologyUnit at Mulago Hospital, completed research training in international settings, and has lead several studies in Mulago and IDI which form the basis for the current application. He has long-standing collaboration with Drs. Kirk, Thomas and other Hopkins investigators involved in the Consortium. Dr. Ocama leads the Management Team and provides day-to-day supervision of the study staff. He also actively engages in the clinical investigation components of the study, as PI of Project 1 and Co-investigator on Project 2.

Dr. Jackson Orem

Dr. Jackson Orem, Consultant Oncologist and Director of UCI, has lead expansion of the clinical infrastructure and capacity for cancer care in Uganda. In collaboration with multiple US partners, he has advanced clinical training and research capabilities, particularly in the area of cancer clinical trials. He provides oversight of clinical recruitment and management of HCC cases at UCI, provide guidance to the Administrative Core, and serves as Co-PI for the Developmental Core.


Dr. Fred Okuku

Dr. Fred Okuku is a Medical Oncologist and head of the Solid Tumor Center at UCI. With research and epidemiology training from the University of Washington, his research emphasizes the epidemiology of infectious-related cancers in Uganda. He leads recruitment and evaluation of the large number of HCC cases admitted to UCI for Project 1.

Dr. Emmanuel Seremba

Dr. Emmanuel Seremba is a Gastroenterologist / Hepatologist with a research focus on HBV and HIV coinfection. He has Research Fellowship experience in Hepatology in the US and currently is a Fogarty Global Health Fellow working on HB vaccine responses in HIV patients. Working closely with Drs. Kambugu, Thomas and others, he provides his hepatology and coinfection expertise as Co-PI of Project 2.

Dr. Kenneth Opio

Dr. Kenneth Opio is an academic hepatologist at Makerere with Research Fellowship experience and Scholarship Awards in several US and Euopean countries. His primary research interests focus on alcohol-related liver disease and HCC. He actively contributes to Projects 1 and 2 as a Co-investigator.

Dr. Betty Apica

Dr. Betty Apica, also an academic hepatologist at Makerere with Research Fellowship experience in the US, contributes as a Co-investigator to Project 1.

Prof. Elly Katabira

Dr. Elly Katabira, a clinical HIV specialist working in the field since 1985, recently completed his term as President of the International AIDS Society. Dr. Katabira‘s senior guidance and mentorship will be invaluable as PI of the Developmental Core.

Dr. Samuel Bugeza

Dr. Sam Bugeza, is Chair of the Department of Radiology and oversees the standardized performance and documentation of ultrasound exams for both the diagnosis of HCC and for the HCC screening study.

Dr. Tito Beyeza

Dr. Tito Beyeza, is Chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and oversees the recruitment of control subjects for the HCC case-control study from the Orthopedic Ward.

Prof. Henry Wabinga

Dr. Henry Wabinga, Professor of Pathology and Director of the Kampala Cancer Registry oversees diagnostic pathology services and provides senior guidance to Consortium clinical studies


Agnes Kiragga

Ms. Agnes Kiragga, Co-investigator and Biostatistician for the Consortium.

Dr Ali Elbireer

Dr. Ali Elbireer, Director of the MU/JHU Laboratory at IDI serves as Co-PI for the Biomarker/Analytical Core, advising on the transfer of technical capacity and ensuring quality laboratory data.

Andrew D Kambugu

Dr. Andrew D Kambugu, is the Director of the Research Program at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS), and is an honorary Senior Lecturer in the Department of Medicine at MakCHS. He is also an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota (UMN), USA.  He is a co-principal investigator  in the H2U consortium for project 2 and will facilitate the coordination and integration of project 2 within the IDI’s research program.