Since 2004, we have been training African cancer researchers, oncologists, nurses and other medical professionals to address the rising cancer burden in low- and middle-income countries. Initially, we invited Ugandan clinician-researchers to Seattle for a yearlong fellowship. We have shifted more of our training efforts to Kampala, in collaboration with the UCI, so we can support the development a larger cadre of African cancer specialists and researchers. We also support the UCI’s clinical care capacity, primarily through a weekly lymphoma tumor board, medical supplies program and nurse training. We currently support this training through three programs.
The East African Adult Hematology Oncology Fellowship, launched in 2018 with support from the African Development Bank, trains Ugandan specialists so they can, in turn, train their East African colleagues in high-quality clinical care and research and guide and mentor new oncologists, hematologists, and lower-level health workers. Fred Hutch, UW, and UCI faculty and researchers train the fellows in advanced subspecialties and go on teaching rounds with fellows. The comprehensive 18-month curriculum is followed by six months of training in scholarship and research. It is directed by Dr. Abrahams Omoding (UCI) and Dr. John Harlan (UW).
The first cohort of fellows graduated in 2020. Medical Oncology track graduates were Drs. Innocent Mutyaba, Joanne Kayaga, and Alex Bakenga, who have all joined the faculty at the UCI, and Dr. Priscilla Namaganda, a Hematology track graduate who joined Kirudu Hospital in Kampala, which is affiliated with the UCI.
The second cohort began in the of Fall 2020, and they have been enrolled in the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Fellows Program.
The newest fellow, Dr. Amata, began in March 2022, and she is both pursuing medical oncology. The four actively enrolled fellows (Cohorts 2020 & 2022) are featured below.
Dr. Bakenga is a clinical medical officer at the UCI and chief resident in the Department of Medicine at Makerere University.
Dr. Mutyaba is a clinical investigator at the Hutchinson Centre Research Institute of Uganda and a volunteer physician at the UCI.
Dr. Kayaga is a medical doctor and part of a multidisciplinary care team at the UCI and Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital.
Cancer has become a leading cause of death among people infected with HIV. We are training Ugandan researchers in the study of HIV-associated cancers through doctoral programs and fellowships.
Born in Kenya to Ugandan parents, Dr. Lubwama earned a master of medicine degree from Makerere University in 2009 and became a medical microbiologist and assistant lecturer there. She is now pursuing a doctoral degree in microbiology. She studies blood infections in cancer patients and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a problem of global importance that had not previously been investigated in Uganda.
Dr. Kafeero is a physician and research fellow at the UCI, where he has studied delays in obtaining treatment for Kaposi sarcoma.
Dr. Ddungu began his Ph.D. studies in Seattle with coursework at the University of Washington and clinical oncology rotations at Fred Hutch Cancer Center and Harborview Medical Center. Since returning to Kampala in 2012, he has continued his doctoral research at Makerere University, studying the optimal use of platelet transfusion for oncology patients at the UCI. He is currently a hematologist and director of laboratory operations at the UCI.
Dr. Mugisha was the first person selected for this fellowship program, earning a master’s degree in public health from the University of Washington. He went on to earn a master of medicine degree at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Currently pursuing his PhD training, he is also serving as a research investigator and head of the Comprehensive Community Cancer Program at the UCI and is a lecturer at Makerere University.
Dr. Okuku’s participation in this fellowship program began in 2009, when he took graduate courses at the UW schools of medicine and public health, participated in clinical rotations at Fred Hutch Cancer Center and developed a research project to establish a clinical staging system for African endemic Kaposi sarcoma. He currently serves as an attending physician in medical oncology and director of education at the UCI.
Dr. Omoding is the director of outreach and an attending physician at the UCI, where he serves as a medical oncologist. He advises and collaborates with Fred Hutch Global Oncology, particularly though the weekly lymphoma tumor board. Omoding is a co-investigator on a study that aims to understand the molecular signatures of successful cellular immune response to non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
We provide training in oncology nursing, in partnership with nurses at Fred Hutch Cancer Center, to strengthen clinical oncology research at the UCI while improving outcomes for patients through better clinical care, earlier detection, and cancer prevention. This fellowship program, launching in 2019, will provide training and mentoring to nursing students at Makerere University and elevate nursing capacity at the UCI.
M.B.Ch.B., M.Sc., Ph.D.
Facing overwhelmed conditions in Uganda, Dr. Nixon Niyonzima had intention of being a cancer specialist – until he learned about a unique partnership.
Dr. Seremba is one of Global Oncology’s fully-funded PhD candidates. In 2011, he was selected for a unique PhD program at the Makerere University, College of Health Sciences, in conjunction with courses taken at the University of Washington.
Dr. Joan N. Mutyoba joined Global Oncology as a Fellow in 2011 and completed a one-year, graduate-level rotation in Seattle, focused on Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Cancer Epidemiology & Prevention Research.
M.B.Ch.B., M.Med., M.A.
After a yearlong fellowship at the Center, Amos Mwaka is back in Uganda hoping to establish a program to train rural doctors to better diagnose early stage cancer.
Dr. Victoria Walusansa was the first Ugandan doctor to be trained in an oncology fellowship program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. Today she is the deputy director of the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI).
M.B.Ch.B., D.D.S., M.Sc.
Dr. Kamulegeya joined Global Oncology in 2011 and completed a one-year, graduate-level rotation in Seattle, focused on epidemiology and biostatistics.
Mr. Natif completed a pharmacy-focused, 13-month oncology fellowship through the HIV-Associated Malignancy Training Program with Fred Hutch.
* Current research investigator with the UCI-Fred Hutch Collaboration