Prof Celestino OBUA

Prof Obua earned his Doctor of Medicine (MD) from the University of Dar es Salam in 1983 before his postgraduate qualifications in Pharmacology (MSc from Makerere University and PhD from Karolinska Institutet and Makerere University-in a joint degree program).

He is currently the Vice Chancellor, Mbarara University of Science and Technology. He is a Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics with a PhD in Pharmacology. He previously worked as the Ag. Deputy Dean, School of Biomedical Sciences, and then later as Deputy Principal, College of Health Sciences (MakCHS), Makerere University. Prof Obua was the Team Leader for Research Task Force in the Needs Assessment Twinning Program Project, a collaboration between Makerere University and Johns Hopkins University. This assignment awakened in him the resolve to advocate for global and local collaborations amongst Higher Education Institutions. He was the co-investigator of the MEPI-MESAU consortium project that involved five medical schools in Uganda. During the MEPI-MESAU implementation he was responsible for the implementation of the Trans-disciplinary Mentored Research across the consortium institutions that has supported students and faculty leading to 13 PhDs and 30 Master of Sciences fellowships completed. As a member of the International Network for Rational Use of Drugs (INRUD-Uganda), through research he contributed to the development of a tool for strengthening adherence to ARVs through the INRUD-Initiative on Adherence to ARVs (INRUD-IAA), multi-country collaborative project. This tool is now published as a WHO manual titled “How to investigate Adherence to Antiretroviral Treatment: An indicator-Based Approach” (WHO/EMP/MIE/2011.1).

Prof Obua is currently the Principal Investigator of the 5 year Mbarara University Research Training Initiative (MURTI), a $3million NIH grant for training and building research capacity of junior faculty at MUST. MURTI was launched on 19th November 2015. It is an initiative that will develop research capacity in three priority areas of HIV/AIDS, Cardiovascular Disease and Mental Health. It will also incorporate neurological disorders that may be related to the three disease areas. He is also the PI of the GENEFA study, an ongoing project at MakCHS in collaboration with Karolinska Institutet and Baylor College Uganda, that is investigating the effects of genetic predisposition on the metabolism of Efavirenz and interaction with rifampicin in children who are on ARVs and anti-TB medications. Prof Obua is also the PI of a Sida funded project “Towards better treatment of Infectious Diseases in Children in Uganda” that aims at investigating and proposing antibiotic stewardship to minimise emergence of resistance to antibiotics. This project is training 3 Postdocs, 4 PhDs, and 4 MScs at Makerere, Mbarara and Gulu and Busitema Universities. In addition, Prof Obua mentored a team of researchers at MUST in applying for the five year $6million World Bank African Centers of Excellence Phase II (ACE II) fund to support Higher Education in Eastern and Southern Africa, where the MUST project titled “Pharmbiotechnology and Traditional Medicines (PHARMBIOTRAC) was approved for funding with effect from May 2016.

He has conducted several research projects on drug use studies at community and health facilities levels, but also exploring pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic studies on antimalarials and ARVs. As a mentor Prof Obua has a strong passion for capacity building at the individual as well as institutional levels. While at MakCHS he spearheaded and built research infrastructure for pharmacokinetic studies which has over the years continued to support academic faculty and several MSc and PhD students in conducting drug level analysis. Prof Obua has over 50 publications in several high impact journals covering the areas of drug use, treatment regimens, PK and PD studies, health systems, higher education and internationalisations of higher education.  He has supervised to date 24 graduate students that includes 8 PhD theses.

Prof Obua is a member of several professional and community organisations. He has a strong passion in serving humanity and as such he is a member of the Rotary Club of Mbarara and Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) of Rotary International.