Damalie Nalwanga, MBChB, MMed


Nominated From: University of Minnesota

Research Site: Uganda

Research Area: Paediatric infectious diseases

Primary Mentor: Sarah Cusick

Research Project


Neurocognitive function among HIV infected children on protease inhibitor based versus non protease inhibitor based antiretroviral therapy


With improved survival of HIV infected children on ART, it is imperative to maximize cognitive function in order to enable them become more productive and realize their full potential. Protease inhibitors (PIs) achieve low drug levels in the CSF compared to non-PIs like zidovudine. It is not clear if the difference in CNS penetration results in differences in neurocognitive function between HIV positive children on PI based compared to those on non-PI based ART.


Research Significance

ART that maximizes children’s neurodevelopment and school achievement should be established and preferentially chosen for treatment of HIV positive children globally. This will be a pilot study to establish neurocognitive outcomes of children on protease inhibitor based compared to those on non-protease inhibitor based treatment in resource limited settings. Results from this study will provide a basis for further investigation into appropriate ART regimens that maximize neurocognitive function in HIV positive children globally.


Advice for Potential Candidates

Never give up! Keep working at your dream, you lose nothing by trying.



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