In September, we bid farewell to Professor Anatoli Kamali, African regional program lead at IAVI and Principal Investigator (PI) of UPTAKE, following his retirement. Prof. Kamali oversaw UPTAKE since the consortium’s inception in 2020. On behalf of the entire UPTAKE team, we would like to acknowledge Prof. Kamali’s significant contribution to UPTAKE and the broader HIV prevention field.
Following decades of a prolific career in HIV prevention and being a globally recognized scientific leader, Prof. Kamali joined IAVI in 2016 and led ADVANCE (Accelerate the Development of Vaccines and New Technologies to Combat the AIDS Epidemic) and the Africa regional program until 2020. He strengthened the linkages between IAVI and Clinical Research Center (CRC) partners by fostering meaningful engagement and pursuing equal partnerships in the development of HIV vaccines. For those who worked with Prof. Kamali, he was known as an insightful, thoughtful, and hardworking colleague, whose candid and sage advice was incredibly valuable.
Prof. Kamali has successfully mentored and supported the career growth and development of several researchers and clinicians across Africa and he has been personally affiliated with 299 research publications. Under his leadership of the ADVANCE Program (2016-2020), the USAID-supported centers served as a reliable bridge to communities affected by the AIDS epidemic. For Prof. Kamali, solutions come from and return to communities most impacted. It is more than an ethical tagline – it has been his lived practice and way of working.
In all this work, he has become a critical collaborator of U.S. and European-based donors focused on making lasting contributions to vaccine and prevention research capacity on the continent.
Ahead of his departure, we welcomed Dr Gabriela Gomez, Ph.D., senior director of global access at IAVI, as the lead PI. Dr Gomez brings with her over fifteen years of experience as an infectious disease epidemiologist working with global and country policy makers to achieve equitable introduction and effective scale-up of new technologies. Her research has largely focused on applying economic methods to infectious disease modelling in global health priority setting, including more than 100 publications. Since joining UPTAKE, Dr Gomez has been working closely with colleagues from across the consortium to finalise the plans for Stages 2 and 3.