Senior Clinical Research Scientist
Infectious Diseases Institute, Makerere University
Dr. Miriam O. Laker is a Medical Doctor and Senior Research Scientist at the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) at Makerere University based in Kampala, Uganda. Early in her career, she coordinated the first non-pharmaceutical clinical trial at the IDI. Because of her exceptional work at the IDI in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), she was able to successfully apply and win an NIH-NCI D43 grant. She was awarded a full scholarship to UCSF, where she received advanced training in clinical research, epidemiology, and biostatistics. Her primary research interest revolves around the epidemiology of the two most common HIV associated cancers in Africa – cervical cancer and Kaposi’s sarcoma – and finding innovative ways to provide access to their early diagnosis and treatment.
Miriam started and leads a peer mentorship program for senior research scientists at the IDI, which has a membership of more than 50. Miriam is also an instructor in the UCSF Clinical Epidemiology (Epi 204) course in the Advanced Training in Clinical Research program. She is also faculty in the Implementation Sciences program of the Department of Medicine, Makerere University. Miriam founded CARE360, which provides mentorship to teenagers and young adults. She is also a co-founder of the African Women in Science Hub, which promotes education, especially STEM, among girls and supports female career scientists to reach their potential and to aspire for leadership. Miriam is a board member of St John Paul II College Gulu and heads the client welfare and development committee of the board at Reach Out Mbuya HIV/AIDS Initiative, which serves the urban poor in Kampala, Uganda. She was the only female distinguished panelist at the first Notre Dame Forum: Global Health Crisis.