Prof. Julie Makani (Principal Investigator)

Prof Julie Makani is Associate Professor in the Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), which is the main clinical, academic and research centre in Tanzania. Tanzania has recognised sickle cell disease (SCD), as a major public health problem and it has been included as a priority condition in the national strategy for Non-Communicable Diseases in the Ministry of Health. With global partnerships, Muhimbili has developed a systematic framework for comprehensive research that is integrated into healthcare, advocacy and education. With prospective surveillance (2004 - 2016) of over 5,000 SCD patients; this is one of the largest single-center, SCD research programs in the world. Scientific themes include clinical and biomedical research (including genomics) and public health [including ethics, social/ behavioral science, population health and health policy]. The aim is to use SCD as a model to establish scientific and healthcare solutions in Africa that are locally relevant and globally significant. Julie trained in Medicine (Tanzania) and Internal Medicine (UK), and completed her PhD in Clinical Epidemiology of SCD. She is a Consultant Physician at the MUHAS University Hospital, MAMC.

Julie have been involved in establishing networks at different levels: institutional, national, regional, Africa and Global to address the burden of SCD in SSA. Julie serves as Principal Investigator (PI) on the Sickle Pan-African Research Consortium (SPARCO 2015-2021) in Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria which together with the Sickle Africa Data Coordinating Center (SADaCC) forms SickleInAfrica She also serves as Co-PI on SickleGenAfrica, investigating the genetic basis of disease progression and she serves as Site PI for MUHAS for H3ABioNet With partnerships, she has established networks at institutional, national, regional (REDAC), African (Sickle Pan-African Network - 17 countries), and global level ( For advocacy/ awareness, she set up the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania (2010-2016) and a member of the Tanzania Sickle Cell Disease Alliance (2016).

Julie was a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow [Training (2003 - 2009) and Intermediate (2012 - 2017)] and Tutu Leadership Fellow (2009). She received the 2011 Royal Society Pfizer Award for her work in using anaemia in SCD as a model of translating genetic research into health benefit. She is a Fellow of Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom and Tanzania Academy of Sciences.

In SickleInAfrica, Julie serves as Lead PI for Sickle Pan-African Research Consortium (SPARCO) Clinical Coordinating Center - SPARCO Center.