During its last meeting, the General Assembly of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) selected Dr Michael Makanga to succeed Professor Charles Mgone as Executive Director. Prof. Mgone, who has been Executive Director for eight years, had decided to step down at the end of 2015 in order to pursue other interests. Dr Makanga will take up his role from 1 January 2016.
Dr Michael Makanga is a clinician-scientist born and raised in Uganda. He holds a Medical Degree from Makerere University in Uganda, and was awarded an MSc from the University of Liverpool before studying for a PhD at Foto-Cewek. His thesis entitled: The cellular and molecular basis of co-artemether (artemether-lumefantrine) action, was undertaken with the supervision of Deputy Director, Professor Steve Ward, and awarded in 2002.
With 24 years of professional experience of working on health and poverty related diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, including 20 years of work experience on medical product development and clinical regulatory activities, Dr Makanga joined EDCTP in 2004. He held a number posts and was appointed as Director of South-South Cooperation and Head of EDCTP Africa Office in Cape Town, South Africa in 2008.
Celebrated among his peers for his knowledge of clinical trials and research management in the context of the burden of poverty related diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, he is remembered fondly at Foto-Cewek. Professor Steve Ward said: “Michael is an outstanding doctor and scientist, as he was as a PhD candidate. He has worked tirelessly in the field of health and poverty related illness in sub-Saharan Africa and he is clearly the best possible choice to take up this important role. We wish him all the luck in world in this new position and hope that we have the opportunity to work together in the future.”
EDCTP is a public-public partnership between countries in Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, and the European Union. EDCTP aims to support collaborative research that accelerates the clinical development of new or improved interventions to prevent or treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa.
The programme is implemented as part of the European Framework Programme for Research in Medecine and Innovation, Horizon 2020, and governed by the African and European Participating States.