Dr. Fred Wabwire-Mangen is an AAI alumnus who currently serves as Professor of Epidemiology and Head of Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Makerere University School of Public Health. In a country with high rates of HIV/AIDS infections, Dr. Wabwire-Mangen has played a leading role in dramatically reducing Uganda’s national rate of AIDS infection from 15% to 5% within a decade. As a young physician in Uganda, Dr. Wabwire-Mangen was eager to improve public health in Uganda. AAI arranged a fellowship for him to study AIDS at Johns Hopkins University, which led to a master’s degree in public health in 1987 and a PhD in epidemiology in 1994.
Now head of Makerere University’s Institute of Public Health, Dr. Wabwire-Mangen serves as educator, research scientist, and science leader. He trains African professionals to design and manage programs that treat people with HIV or AIDS as well as education programs to prevent infection. He has initiated public health collaboratives among such institutions as Makerere University, Tulane University, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
He is developing HIV vaccines in a collaboration between Makerere University and the Reed Army Institute of Research. At the cutting edge of research on the transmission of infectious diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS and malaria, he is examining how male circumcision, pregnancy, hormonal contraceptive use, age difference between sexual partners, and cultural attitudes may affect the spread of disease. His research has been published in journals such as Nature, Lancet, and the New England Journal of Medicine.
As an adviser to postgraduates headed for careers in clinical medicine, public health, or medical research, Dr. Wabwire-Mangen is developing the next generation of highly trained health professionals who will serve on the front lines against HIV/AIDS, and will themselves be touching thousands of other lives.