Mr. Robert Ssekubugu

2006 Trainee

Mr. Robert Ssekubugu’s research experience began when he was an undergraduate at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences.  He joined the Rakai Health Services Program (RHSP) as a primary data collector.

Five years later he had worked his way through the ranks of the Rakai Program to a data quality controller and later supervising protocol field activities. He is now the study coordinator of the Rakai Community Cohort study, a more than fifteen-year-old longitudinal study.  His enthusiasm for human subjects protection made him a natural fit for a study assessing community and individual perception of the benefits and risks associated with biomedical research, the first ever bioethics study done in the Rakai Health Sciences Program. After the FABTP program, Robert has conducted extensive work in the field of equipping research field staff with practical ethics skills through a wide-range of experience sharing engagement exercises and formal training. He has also analyzed data on consent comprehension studies conducted as part of some of the Rakai studies. This data has helped inform RHSP on the dynamics of informed consent and how to strengthen the process of informed consent.

In 2007 Robert was invited to join the Uganda Virus Research Institute’s science and ethics committee (IRB equivalent) as the Regulatory Officer. During his term, he and the institute’s director and the SEC chairpersons developed a proposal to the EDCTP that helped them set up the SEC/IRB secretariat. The grant also helped with training of IRB members and scientists on ethics of research and to perform compliance monitoring.

In August, 2009, Robert returned to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to pursue his Masters of Science degree in Public Health (MSPH) in the department of International Health. He completed his degree in May, 2011 and he is back in Uganda working with Rakai and with the Uganda Virus Research Institute.

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