Makerere Lecturers

Makerere University


Dr. Wilson Winstons Muhwezi is an Associate Professor of Behavioural Sciences & Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences. He obtained an MPhil (Health Promotion) from University of Bergen in 1998 and a PhD in Medical Science offered jointly by Karolisnka Institutet, Sweden and Makerere University, Uganda in 2007. Dr. Muhwezi was a SIDA/SAREC post-doctoral research fellow (2010–2014) and investigated sexuality, mental well-being and reproductive health decisions among adolescents peri-natally infected with HIV in Uganda. Dr. Muwhezi has authored over 30 scholarly articles in international peer reviewed journals and produced several policy papers/briefs on topical issues, textbook chapters and has participated in numerous consultancy reports. Dr. Muwhezi has a wealth of over 25 years of experience in design and implementation of qualitative research in the fields of psychosocial work, mental health, and reproductive health.

Dr. Moses Ocan is a lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics at Makerere University. Dr. Ocan received a PhD in Pharmacology at Makerere University in 2017. Dr. Ocan has successfully conducted and completed two systematic reviews on antimicrobial resistance, and a commissioned review by the DFID. Currenlty, Dr. Ocan has two protocols that are under peer review, and is an active member of six on-going systematic review teams as co-investigator. In his field as a pharmacologist, Dr. Ocan has published several papers in peer review journals and is a reviewer in a number of journals in the area of antimicrobial agents and resistance medicine use in communities. He is currently undertaking Post-Doctoral fellowship research on validation of molecular markers of artemisinin resistance among African P. falciparum parasites. Dr. Ocan trains and supervises undergraduates in medicine, pharmacy, nursing, biomedical sciences and radiology.

Dr. Janet Nakigudde obtained a joint Karolisnka Institutet and Makerere University PhD in Psychology in 2011. Dr. Nakigudde is a product of the Johns Hopkins-Fogarty African Bioethics Training Program Award. As a bioethicist, Dr. Nakigudde is an integral part of a number of ethical review committees at Mengo Hospital and the Makerere University School. Dr. Nakigudde is working on a draft manuscript entitled “Oversights of IRBs and the Uganda National Human Subjects Regulatory Body in Mental Health Research. Dr. Nakigudde is the Ugandan lead of the Africa Ethics Working Group for the NeuroGAP project.

Dr. Dickens Akena is a psychiatrist and a lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda. Dr. Akena’s role at Makerere University includes teaching undergraduate and post graduate students, mental health research and patient care. Dr. Akena conducts his clinical duties at the Butabika National Referral Hospital for mental health. Dr. Akena has published over 20 papers in peer reviewed journals and has attended a number of systematic review training courses, including an intense competent based 10 week on-line PRIMER course from Stellenbosch University (2017), GRADE training from the Cochrane group in Kampala (2016), and the introduction to systematic review course in 2013 that was delivered by the Makerere University Africa Centre for Systematic Reviews and the EPOC (Cochrane Centre in Norway). Dr. Akena was a recipient of a Cochrane Fellowship in 2014 and spent time at the Cochrane South Africa Centre in Cape Town. Dr. Akena has published 5 systematic reviews and 1 protocol as lead and co-author (including a recent Cochrane review on efficacy of antidepressants), and has submitted over 8 protocols as lead and co-author for peer review. Dr. Akena has been teaching systematic reviews at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology since 2016, during which period he has participated in designing and submitting protocols for publications.

Dr. Catherine Abbo is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University. Dr Abbo holds an MBChB, M.Med (Psych), a PhD in Transcultural psychiatry from Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, and an Mphil (with distinction) in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from University of Cape Town in May 2017. She currently leads the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and mental health course in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Abbo is a Post-Doctoral fellow with the Makerere–Sida Fellowship programme. Dr. Abbo’s research and clinical interests are in the areas of developmental psychiatry and mental health, particularly in relation to prevention of mental disorders and building mental resilience in children and adolescents, and the mental health of adolescents in school.

Aggrey S. Semeere (M.B.Ch.B., M.Med., MAS) is a Physician/Researcher at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) of the Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MUCHS) in Kampala, Uganda.  He is trained in internal medicine, from MUCHS and he also has clinical research training from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) with an added qualification in Implementation and Dissemination science (ImS). His research interests revolve around the epidemiology of chronic co-morbidities (especially cancer and cardiovascular disease) among HIV-infected individuals, with a leaning towards prevention and early detection using ImS frameworks.

GINGER – Research Fellows


Benedict Akimana

I am from Kisoro, South Western Uganda. I received my Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from Kampala International University, and my Masters of Medicine in Psychiatry from Makerere University. My research interest is to find out the genetic risk (factors) of anxiety disorders and their impact on quality of life and school performance among college students in Uganda. In five years I envisage myself leading the college surveys and using the data to improve the livelihoods of individuals with mental illnesses in Uganda. I enjoy traveling, watching football and television shows.

Allan Kalungi

I am a Ugandan national and hold both a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a Master of Science in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology degrees from Makerere University, Uganda. I am currently enrolled in a joint PhD program with Makerere University, Uganda and Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Since 2014, I have been involved in investigating the genetic associations of psychiatric problems (the first East African scientist to do this). In my current PhD project, I am looking at the role of genetic and environmental factors in the etiology of internalizing mental disorders (depressive and anxiety disorders) among children and adolescents with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. This PhD project is nested in a bigger MRC/DfID funded longitudinal study that investigated psychiatric and neurocognitive disorders among children and adolescents with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. In five years, I hope to be a faculty member of either an academic institution such as Makerere University or a research unit (such as the Mental Health Project of the MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit), undertaking research into psychiatric disorders. Outside work, you will find me cheering my football club, Express FC.

Emmanuel Mwesiga

I am from the “Pearl of Africa”: Uganda! After receiving a postgraduate degree in Psychiatry, I was offered a lecturing position in the department of Psychiatry at Makerere University. Currently, however, I am a doctoral student at the University of Cape Town. I am studying the role of genetic and environmental predictors on presentation and assessment for cognitive impairment among patients with a first episode of psychosis in an African population. This work is nested in the Neuropsychiatric genetics of African Psychosis (NeuroGAP) which aims to better understand the genetic cytoarchitecture of psychosis in African populations. NeuroGAP ties in closely with my research interests, which include description of psychiatric illness (phenomenology) using neurosciences. I also have great interest in early intervention psychiatry. In five years I hope to have developed a cohort of participants with early onset psychosis that I will be following and describing using various neuroscience techniques. This work will surely keep me busy in the near future but I still hope to have time for family, soccer and drinks with friends