Research in Uganda

The John lab has been working in Uganda since the early 2000s with collaborators at Makerere University and Global Health Uganda.

Malaria and Sickle Cell Disease Research

The primary focus of the John Lab's research in Uganda is on malaria. Current studies aim to understand the role of severe malaria on neurodevelopment in children and how to prevent death and readmission in children with severe malarial anemia. The lab is also researching ways to treat children with sickle cell disease, a condition that is common in malaria-endemic regions, and how to prevent infections in this population.


  • Malarial Impact on Neurobehavioral Development (MIND)
    Goal: This study aims to 1) establish the duration and age- specific manifestations of neurobehavioral sequelae of severe malaria from childhood to early adulthood, 2) determine the functional and economic costs of neurobehavioral sequelae of severe malaria, and 3) identify the metabolic, immunologic and parasitic factors predictive of long-term neurobehavioral and functional impairment after severe malaria.
    Award Number: R01 NS055349
    Funding Agency: NINDS
    PI: Chandy John; Site PI: Paul Bangirana; Co-investigators: Andrea Conroy, Dibyadyuti Datta, Wanzhu Tu, Robert Opoka, Richard Idro, Ruth Namazzi, Bjarne Robberstad, Margaret Semrud-Clikeman, Noeline Nakasujja
    Dates: 02/01/19 – 01/31/24
    Sites: Kampala and Jinja, Uganda
  • Prophylaxis Against Malaria to Enhance Child Development (PROTECT)
    Goal: The goals of this study are to determine the effect of malaria prevention in pregnant women and their children on child neurodevelopment (ND) and to identify the major mechanisms by which malaria prevention in pregnant women and children affects child ND.
    Award Number: R01 HD086124
    Funding Agency: NICHD
    PI: Chandy John; Site PI: Paul Bangirana; Co-investigators: Robert Opoka, Maria Kroupina, Margaret Semrud-Clikeman, Sarah Cusick, Michael Georgeff, Grant Dorsey
    Dates: 01/01/16 – 12/31/20
    Sites: Tororo, Uganda
  • Postdischarge Malaria Chemoprevention (PMC)
    Goal: The major goal of this project is to determine if malaria chemoprevention for a 3-month period decreases rates of readmission and death in children with severe anemia.
    Award Number: ES529474
    Funding Agency: Research Agency of Norway
    PI: Kamija Phiri; Co-investigator: Chandy John
    Dates: 09/01/14 – 09/01/19
    Sites: Malawi, Uganda and Kenya

Sickle Cell Disease

  • Optimizing Hydroxyurea Therapy in Children with Sickle Cell Anemia in Malaria Endemic Areas The NOHARM Maximum Tolerated Dose NOHARM MTD
    Goal: The major goal of this study is to determine whether fixed dose or maximum tolerated dose hydroxyurea is most safe and effective in the treatment of Ugandan children with sickle cell anemia who live in a malaria endemic area.
    Award Number: DDICRA 2016156
    Funding Agency: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
    PI: Chandy John; Co-investigators: Russell Ware, Robert Opoka, Philip Kasirye, Heather Hume, Christopher Ndugwa
    Dates: 09/15/16 – 03/14/20
    Site: Kampala, Uganda
  • Zinc for Infection Prevention in Sickle Cell Anemia ZIPS
    Goal: The study seeks to determine if zinc supplementation reduces severe or invasive infections in Ugandan children 1.00-4.99 years of age with sickle cell anemia.
    Award Number: N/A
    Funding Agency: Thrasher Foundation
    PI: Chandy John and Robert Opoka; Co-investigators: Russell Ware, Ruth Namazzi, Abner Tagoola, Dibyadyuti Datta, Andrea Conroy, Heather Hume
    Dates: 11/01/17 – 10/31/20
    Site: Jinja, Uganda