Epicentre’s Uganda Research Centre conducts health related research aimed at influencing policy globally and relevant to Africa and Uganda in particular. Studies are conducted according to Good Clinical Practice and Good Clinical and Laboratory Practice quality standards. Epicentre collaborates closely with the Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST), the Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH), the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders in research, academia and the health sector.
The centre has an experienced team of medical doctors, nurses, social workers, statisticians, biologists, laboratory technicians, information technology scientists, logisticians, and administrators who ensure the quality of the research.
Epicentre research has contributed to policy changes including the seminal AQUAMAT trial that demonstrated that artesunate significantly reduces mortality in African children with severe malaria. Current projects continue to focus on improving diagnosis and therapies for tuberculosis, HIV, central nervous system infections, as well as trials on Ebola and Yellow fever vaccines.
Epicentre Uganda benefits from a laboratory located within the Epicentre facility with a biosafety level 3. The laboratory is equipped to do parasitology, (with extensive experience in malaria microscopy), mycobacteriology (biosafety level 3 to perform cultures), microbiology (biosafety level 2, molecular biology; classical PCR and real-time qPCR, use of GeneXpert), biochemistry and haematology with skills to handle specimens for shipment according to IATA regulations. It also has a cold chain capacity for – 20 and – 80 degrees storage.
Taking advantage of its position at the heart of the Mbarara campus the centre is also actively engaged in teaching at the MUST Faculty of Medicine. Research Centre staff contribute to teaching in research methods, supervision and mentorship in research to Faculty of medicine MUST students. In addition, Epicentre laboratory staff contribute modules to bachelor's and master's courses in microbiology, molecular biology, and medical laboratory sciences. Laboratory Science students have the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the Research Center’s laboratory.