Dr. Arthur Mpimbaza

Name: Arthur Mpimbaza

Country: Uganda

Mentors: Prof Philip Rosenthal (UCSF), Prof Charles Karamagi (MU), Prof Grace Ndeezi (MU), Prof Anne Katahoire (MU)

Bio:  Arthur graduated from Makerere University Medical School in 2000 with a Bachelors degree in medicine and surgery, and to date has been involved in clinical research, primarily related to malaria, working with the Makerere University-UCSF malaria research collaboration. During this period, he attained further training with a Masters of Medicine in Pediatrics (equivalent to a US medical residency) and Masters of Science in Infectious Diseases. It is through this collaboration that he has been privileged to work with and be mentored by distinguished scientists, specifically Prof Philip J Rosenthal (UCSF), Dr Sarah Staedke (LSHTM), Prof Grant Dorsey (UCSF) and Prof Grace Ndeezi. Prof Rosenthal, Prof Ndeezi and Dr Staedke directly supervised his Master’s thesis project, ‘Comparison of buccal midazolam to rectal diazepam in the treatment of prolonged seizures in Ugandan children: a randomized clinical trial’ resulting in publication of two papers, both presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (one sponsored by a competitive Travel Award). In addition, he has written or co-authored 15 other papers describing his area of research. In 2011, he attained a faculty position as Assistant Lecturer at the Child Health Development Centre, Makerere University-College of Health Sciences. In 2012, he was promoted to a lecturer. To acquire more skills and advance his career in research, he enrolled for a PhD in Health Sciences in 2012, at the Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Makerere University-College of Health Sciences.

Project title: Determinants of disease severity among hospitalised children with severe malaria in Uganda

Project: Severe falciparum malaria continues to result in hundreds of thousands of childhood deaths each year in sub-Saharan Africa, including tens of thousands of deaths in Uganda. The unacceptable impact of malaria mortality on the health and social and economic development of societies is reason for sustained efforts towards improved understanding of processes and mechanisms resulting in severe disease.

Understanding why a small subset of children with malaria progresses to life-threatening disease, including both social and biological factors, should aid in the development of optimal strategies to control this problem. Arthur’s PhD thesis is centered on understanding the determinants of disease severity among children infected with P. falciparum. This project will directly address his career goals, in working to identify factors that contribute to severe malaria upon which public health programs can intervene. In his first aim, Dr Arthur will test the highly plausible hypothesis that delayed access to care is a major contributor to progression to severe malaria and determine factors that delay access to care. It is anticipated that specific factors amenable to simple public health interventions will be identified. In his second aim, Arthur will take a quite different approach, analyzing associations between host genetic polymorphisms and progression to severe disease, offering a different potential means of intervention, e.g. identifying and appropriately managing individuals at particular risk of severe malaria. Arthur PhD thesis, will provide much needed clinic-epidemiological information on malaria as a life threatening disease, increasing  understand of underlying causes of disease severity and related deaths that are amendable to modification, aiding in the development of optimal strategies for policy formulation, planning, monitoring and evaluation of disease-specific interventions.