15 May, 2020
Written by Dr Pauline Amuge, Research Coordinator at Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation-Uganda (Baylor-Uganda), Trial Manager- ODYSSEY (PENTA 20), Site PI- SMILE (PENTA 17), Co-investigator-BREATHER Plus, Co-investigator-D3 trial
As soon as I completed my residency in paediatrics and child health, I received an opportunity to join Baylor-Uganda. My passion to enable children achieve their full life potential, especially those living with HIV, was nurtured while I worked as the ODYSSEY trial manager with a passionate site Principal Investigator, Dr Adeodata and Chief Investigators-Di Gibb and Pablo Rojo. Knowing that results from the ODYSSEY trial would make dolutegravir a once-daily safe drug available as a dispersible tablet for children as small as 3kg, made me walk daily into the clinic with great hope for the future of our African children living with HIV.
Penta’s strength lies in giving young people opportunity. During my first Penta investigators’ Meeting in Venice, I experienced the collaborative Penta family which revealed opportunities for growth of young investigators.
Sooner than I expected, I grew to site principal investigator of the SMILE trial at Baylor-Uganda; a role that I quickly stepped into having the robust support from Penta, INSERM and MRC CTU at UCL. There’s continuous learning and growth while positively impacting the future of our children. Recently, Penta introduced me to a new horizon of research training and capacity building for a new research proposal which aims to make a fixed dose combination of dolutegravir based Fixed Dose Combination (FDC) and a fixed dose combination of darunavir and ritonavir FDCs readily available in WHO dosing weight bands.
It’s a worthwhile journey, and I encourage young investigators to connect with Penta and be part of the lives of thousands of children’s lives.