Dr. Flavia Matovu Kiweewa, (MBChB, MSc., Ph.D.) is a Senior Research Scientist/ University Lecturer with over 15 years of experience in conceptualizing, designing, and implementing clinical research studies. She was recently appointed as Director of Research, MU-JHU Research Collaboration. Her research efforts have directly addressed scientific questions related to anti-retroviral based HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, treatment for women, and hepatitis B. She was the Ugandan Lead Investigator for the MTN-020/ASPIRE study, a microbicide trials protocol evaluating the ‘’Safety and Effectiveness of a Vaginal Matrix Ring Containing Dapivirine for the Prevention of HIV-1 Infection in Women’’, and currently the National Principal Investigator for the Gilead Sciences sponsored PURPOSE 1 study that’s evaluating the safety and efficacy of an ARV known as Lenacapavir and an oral daily pill, Descovy for HIV prevention in adolescent girls and young women.
Dr. Matovu’s relentless passion for improving HIV treatment outcomes, skills in proposal writing, and multidisciplinary collaboration have resulted in successful (and highly competitive) grant awards. As part of her CARTA PhD fellowship, Dr Matovu was awarded an R01 (2015 – 2020) by the US National Institutes of Health to conduct research in the highly relevant but understudied area of bone health among women living with HIV resource limited findings. Primary findings from this grant (the BONE: CARE study) were published in the Lancet Global Health in May 2022. Coupled with the more recent findings from her Gilead-funded BONE: STAR investigator trial presented at the conference for retroviruses and opportunistic infections 2023, these data have informed the inclusion of TAF-containing ART as a first line HIV treatment regimen (an alternative to TDF) in the Uganda National ART treatment guidelines released in May 2023. Dr. Flavia has received numerous merit awards along her academic and professional path including the most prestigious PhD award 2021 from the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Witwatersrand, CARTA PhD Fellowship, Gilead Global Public Health Award in Viral Hepatitis, and several on spot ‘’5 Pillars extraordinary accomplishments’’ in recognition of extraordinary achievements and productivity as an independent investigator at MU-JHU.
Outside her regular work, she serves on different scientific committees including the Global Gilead Public Health Awards Committee, ACTG’s Comorbidities Transformative Science Group and the International Workshop on Long-term Complications of HIV and SARS-CoV-2. Locally, Dr. Flavia provides on-going technical support to the Uganda Ministry of Health and has been involved in the development of the HIV treatment and PrEP guidelines. Her commitment to developing capacity in the next generation of researchers is evident in her passion for mentoring young investigators and supporting high-quality research work.