Where were you born?
What school did you attend?
Makerere University, Kampala in Uganda University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
What gained you interest in the NIH?
The NIH is the largest sponsor of biomedical research in the world. I got interested in the NIH because its mission and resource base enabled it to sponsor important questions about human health. In my case, I was interested in understanding the link between infections and cancer and understanding how to control those cancers by controlling or targeting the associated infections.
What kind of work do you do at the NIH?
I conduct epidemiological studies to quantify the risk of certain cancers associated with specific infections. I study two cancers called Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and Kaposi sarcoma (KS). These cancers are associated with two viruses called Epstein Barr virus (BL) and human herpes virus 8 (KS). These cancers occur more frequently in Africa because the associated infections are common there, but the cancers started occurring elsewhere, including the US, when the AIDS epidemic erupted. My work has focused on people with AIDS to understand how these infections influence the risk for cancer.
What message would you like to send to young Blacks who are considering going to college?
Investing your time in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology will pay dividends in a scientific career. By learning and mastering these subjects, you will broaden and keep your options open to pursue many careers in science, technology and applied sciences. Put in the time now and you will be happy for a long time. You might even make a few discoveries along the way.