Professor Victor Mwapasa
Prof Mwapasa is a public health expert, research scientist and professor at the University of Malawi, College of Medicine (CoM). He has previously served in many senior positions at CoM including Associate Director of the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, Director of the Research Support Centre, Head of Department of Public Health, Dean of Postgraduate Studies and Research and Chairperson of the CoM Research and Ethics Committee. Currently, he leads the delivery of courses in HIV, Research Methodology, Public Health and Implementation Science and supervises undergraduate and postgraduate students. His research focuses on the epidemiology of malaria and HIV, including testing the efficacy and effectiveness of novel diagnostic tests and interventions and evaluating public health implementation strategies for these diseases and associated co-morbidities. He has expertise in health research capacity development in resource-limited settings and currently leads research capacity development initiatives funded by the National Institutes of Health (USA) and Wellcome Trust (UK). He serves in various national and international policy-making and strategic committees such as Malawi Pharmacy and Medicine Board, Malawi National AIDS Commission HIV Research and Surveillance Technical Working Committee and the Medical Research Council-UK, Global Health Group. His participation in these committees facilitates the identification of research gaps and translation of research findings into public policies and strategies.
Professor Mwapasa has over 15 years experience in research focused on assessing the efficacy and safety of antimalarial and antiretroviral drugs. He has, also, conducted community-based studies to identify strategies for promoting the utilization of health services and access and adherence to antimalarial and antiretroviral therapy. From 2012 to 2016, he led the implementation of a WHO-funded cluster-randomized trial assessing the effectiveness of integrated clinics and the use of electronic message (SMS) reminders in improving retention of HIV-positive mothers and their infants in HIV care. He also served as the PI of Pharmaceutical Industry-sponsored clinical trials which demonstrated the efficacy and efficacy of a novel antimalarial drug (arterolane maleate/Piperaquine phosphate) in treating uncomplicated malaria in adults and children. He has led a multi-centre clinical trial, funded by the EDCTP, investigating the efficacy and safety of ACTs in people treated with antiretroviral drugs.
As a Professor in Epidemiology and Public Health, he is committed to developing research skills of emerging African scientists. He has acquired substantial experience in academic and research capacity building having led or coordinated institutional strengthening grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (USA), Wellcome Trust (UK) and European Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnerships. As an academic, he runs various undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, including HIV and malaria, Research Methodology, Public Health and Maternal and Child Health. He also has acquired vast experience setting up and running epidemiological studies in Malawi and training students at the CoM in conceptualizing research questions and implementing research projects.