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Our History



In 1988, we started as a collaboration between researchers from Makerere University in  Kampala and Case Western Reserve University in USA. Our founders were the late Prof. Francis A. Mmiro, the late Prof Christopher M. Ndugwa, Prof. Brooks Jackson and Prof.  Laura Guay.

The Makerere University clinicians working at Mulago Hospital were seeing increasing numbers of patients with AIDS (“slim disease”), including infected pregnant women and babies; and the U.S. university investigators brought external funding, laboratory technology and other research endowments to help support the planned research activities.

Early Work

Our leading investigators in the area of perinatal HIV research established a joint comprehensive  Mother-Child HIV Research Centre based at Mulago National Referral Hospital.

The aim of the research centre was to develop and coordinate HIV perinatal epidemiologic studies addressing:

  • Risk factors for transmission
  • The effects of HIV on pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes as well as the effect of pregnancy on HIV disease progression;
  • The natural history of HIV/AIDS disease progression among infected
    mothers and their infants; and
  • Intervention clinical trials to reduce the risk of perinatal transmission.
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MU-JHU Research Collaboration

Since 1996, we have been formally called the Makerere University –Johns Hopkins University Research Collaboration after the US investigators moved from Case Western Reserve University to Johns Hopkins University.

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Landmark Studies

HIVNET 012 Study

MU-JHU has conducted several landmark research studies, which have informed global and national policy. These studies paved the way to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission and improve maternal and paediatric HIV care.

In November 1997, investigators from Johns Hopkins University and Makerere University in Uganda began the HIVNET 012 clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of single-dose nevirapine (NVP) and short-course zidovudine (ZDV) regimens for preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV infection.


Following the release of the landmark HIVNET 012 study results in 1999, MU-JHU received Call to Action (CTA) funds through Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) to provide Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV services at the Mulago National Referral Hospital. The hospital was among the first sites to provide PMTCT services in Uganda.

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The infrastructure for the clinical trials included recruitment from Mulago Hospital. Initially, the MU-JHU research staffs were housed in one of the wards (Ward 11) of the Makerere University Obstetrical Department.

In 2000, MU-JHU opened its first building, MU-JHU 1, on the Mulago hospital campus, and in 2005 a second building followed equipped with conference facilities, offices and more clinic space for the ongoing clinical trials.

Our complex along Upper Mulago Hill Road

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MU-JHU Care Limited

Up until 2006, we operated under the name MU-JHU Research Collaboration. In the same year, we registered as a not-for-profit, entity in Uganda entitled ‘MU-JHU Care Limited’ with a continuation of the Collaboration’s vision and mission.

Co-founders with our Site leadership in 2008

From the left: Prof. Laura Guay (co-founder), the late Prof. Francis A. Mmiro (co-founder), Prof. Philippa Musoke (current Executive Director) and Dr. Clemensia Nakabiito (Current Clinical Research Site Leader).

National Recognition

In 2022  during the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Liberation Day celebrations Prof. Philippa Musoke was among the recipients of the Golden Jubilee Medal for her contribution to PMTCT research in Uganda. In the same year the late Prof. Francis A. Mmiro also received a posthumous Golden Jubilee Medal during the International Women’s Day celebrations for his work in PMTCT research.


Our Science-Research Portfolio

Over the last decade, MU-JHU has progressively expanded its clinical and implementation science-research portfolio to include:

  • Primary HIV prevention
  • Tuberculosis diagnosis and management
  • Paediatric neuro-development assessment and interventions
  • Birth-defects surveillance
  • Women’s health (including bone health and reproductive health)
  • The development of a maternal vaccine platform to assess Group-B Streptococcus and other promising vaccines.

MU-JHU partners with many local and international academic and clinical partners to achieve its mission building on its longstanding Clinical Research Site affiliated with Johns Hopkins University.

The team with our Board Chairperson, Dr. Samuel Okware.

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Our Brand Statement


A positive impact on the health and well-being of the people of Uganda and globally including women, children and youth.


To undertake health research, provide health-services and conduct training; focusing on HIV, prevalent and emerging conditions affecting the well-being of women, children, youth and families.



Being truthful and honest in our dealings and maintaining a professional and ethical standard in the conduct of institutional business.


Working together, valuing and welcoming the contribution of others; demonstrating reliability, loyalty and commitment to the group effort; being dependable and building valuable relationships; synergizing and getting things done better.


The know-how resulting from being well-trained and well-tested, adhering to superior standards consistently and inspiring the next person to the same standards.


Inclined to being creative, developing, piloting, implementing, supporting and adopting new ideas, processes, technologies and solutions within MU-JHU’s business.

Client Centeredness

Ensuring our clients/ participants remain the focus of our business and stand to benefit from MU-JHU’s activities.


  • To Conduct Relevant HIV Research for Primary and Secondary HIV Prevention
  • To Build Capacity of Health Care Providers and Allied Professionals in Research and Care


  • To Facilitate Community Involvement in HIV/AIDS Research and Prevention
  • To Disseminate Research Findings in Care, Treatment & Prevention of HIV/AIDS

Our Geographical Footprint

Districts with MU-JHU's outreach networks