UCSF-GIVI CFAR East Africa Regional Director

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Investigator: Stefanie Sowinski, PhD
Sponsor: UCSF-GIVI Center for AIDS Research

Location(s): Kenya; Uganda

Description

Thanks to a partnership between the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the Gladstone Institute for Virology and Immunology, and the Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR), along with the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI)—an East African center for medical research—I now live part of the year in Kampala. There, I lead a laboratory that trains young Ugandan scientists and encourages scientific collaborations between East Africa and the US and Europe. As director of the IDI Translational Research Lab, I teach local researchers how to apply for project grants, devise and run laboratory experiments, and use and maintain complex laboratory equipment needed for their studies.

The IDI Translational Research Lab also fosters greater collaboration between Gladstone, UCSF, and other US universities that are doing field work in Africa. In a resource-limited setting, it is essential to share equipment, expertise, and research participants. At IDI, scientists from Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Minnesota, and UCSF use our facilities and work together on a variety of different diseases. This type of collaboration drives discoveries faster than when researchers are siloed within their respective labs and institutions, limited to their immediate resources only.