Abdu Kisekka Musubire, MD

Makerere University

Abdu Kisekka Musubire is a Research Scientist with the Infectious Diseases Institute and a Physician head the neurology unit at Kiruddu National Referral Hospital in Uganda. Abdu received Bachelors of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) from Mbarara University in 2000. His research journey started in the 4th year of medical school, where they were introduced to community medicine, spending 6 weeks doing basic community projects where he participated in community public health activities, working to identify their health problems and assessing potential solutions. After medical school, he served as a medical officer at Kakumiro Health Centre IV (2001-2005) Kibaale District in western Uganda where he joined the frontlines of the global HIV pandemic. He participated in several HIV related activities that included a baseline qualitative and quantitative survey for HIV services in Kibaale district. He became a national trainer in the integrated management of Adolescent and Adult Illnesses (IMAI) that paved way to the national rollout of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Uganda. It was during this period that in addition to his clinical work at the health center that he also had an opportunity to participate as a national surveillance officer in the STOP polio campaigns in the country. These experiences gave him exposure to national surveillance and policy implementation of health services in a resource limited setting. In 2005, he enrolled for a Masters of Medicine (M.Med) in internal medicine at Makerere University where he graduated in 2011. While doing the master’s program, he was competitively chosen as an exchange student to visit the University of Alberta in Canada for 3 months that served as his first international exposure. In the same period 2008, he was given an opportunity to work on several cryptococcal research studies at the Infectious Disease Institute (IDI) under the Makerere University/ University of Minnesota Collabration. He initially worked as a research medical officer on a prospective cohort of immune reconstitution syndrome in cryptococcal meningitis during 2008-2009, and then the Cryptococcal Optimal ART Timing (COAT) Trial from 2010-2013 and as a co-investigator on the Adjunctive Sertraline for the Treatment of HIV-Associated Cryptococcal Meningitis (ASTRO-CM) study 2014. The meningitis studies continue and have been expanded to include other types of meningitis like tuberculous meningitis. He also served as attending physician at the national referral hospital on the neurology ward teaching both the undergraduates and post graduate students as well as visiting students from mainly university of Minnesota. In 2011, he was selected by the Makerere University, department of medicine to represent the neurology faculty on the national task force investigating the mysterious Nodding Syndrome that resulted in publications.

While on the neurology ward, he was often challenged by patients with non-traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) with no etiologic diagnosis. Using the experiences from meningitis studies where a number of patients with aseptic meningitis have no definitive diagnosis nurtured his interest in understanding more about inflammatory conditions of the central nervous system. In 2013, he was awarded a Fogarty Global Health Fellowship under the mentorship of Drs. Meya and Boulware. He initiated a pilot prospective cohort of persons with non traumatic spinal cord injury in Kampala with the aim of assessing the pattern of clinical and radiological presentations which has resulted in publications. This project also led him to travel to visit center of excellence in transverse myelitis center at the John Hopkins organized by professor Katabira and Dr Carlos A. Pardo-Villamizar in 2014. He also joined the transverse myelitis association, an advocacy group. In May 2014, he attended the UMN/CDC Global Health Course in Minnesota and his long standing relationship with Univ. of Minnesota resulted in his appointment as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine. In September 2014, he was offered an observership Neurology Department at Yale University for 1 year with further exposure to Neurology in the developed world and has since hosted 3 neurology residents back in Uganda since this training under the Yale Global Health program. He is currently in the final year of the MSc in Neurology at University College London, England and recently enrolled as PhD student at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. Abdu is married with 4 children and his career goal is study cost effective diagnostics and cost effective approaches to management neuroinflammatory disorders in in resource limited environments.


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