Profile: Irene Nambuya

by | Mar 7, 2024 | Becker Profiles | 0 comments

Irene Nambuya is a Research Technician based in the MacDonald Lab. Read about Irene’s start in research at the MRC/Uganda Virus Research Institute, how a merit scholarship opportunity at The University of Manchester ultimately led to her work with the MacDonald Lab unraveling immune complexities in pancreatic cancer treatment, and the inspiration she finds in Manchester’s collaborative immunology community.

Please introduce yourself and tell us about your background in research 

I come from Uganda and I have a bachelor’s degree in biomedical laboratory technology from Makerere University, Uganda.

In October 2020, I won the equity and merit scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in clinical immunology at The University of Manchester. My research project aimed at investigating the impact of S. mansoni infection on host immune responses using murine models.

I am currently working as a Research Technician in the MacDonald laboratory. Part of my work involves supporting the Immodulon study that aims at investigating the key innate and adaptive cell types and mediators involved in the inflammatory and immunological response elicited by IMM-101, a heat-killed preparation of the environmental bacterium Mycobacterium obuense (NCTC13365) that is currently planning to enter Phase 3 clinical trials for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer.

Before joining The University of Manchester to pursue a master’s degree, I worked in Prof. Alison Elliott’s laboratory as a Laboratory Technologist, under the immunomodulation and vaccine programme (IVAC) at the Medical Research Council (MRC)/Uganda virus research institute (UVRI) in Uganda for 4 years. During that time, I worked as a Project Analytical Manager for some of the research studies conducted, including those aimed at investigating the immunological effects of chronic helminth infection and the impact these effects on major infectious diseases including tuberculosis, malaria, HIV infection and other emerging non-communicable diseases like asthma.


What excites you about your research right now?   

I will be completing my work contract with the MacDonald lab at the end of this month. It has been a great opportunity for me to work on an exciting project, and to work with wonderful people in the lab. Having been part of a team that is focusing on addressing the key problems in medicine is very fascinating.

I will be joining the Targeted Therapy Group at the Paterson Building, Division of Cancer Sciences, where I will be involved in supporting translational research for an enlarging portfolio of clinical studies. It’s exciting to continue to work on the unmet needs of cancer patients. This will give me further hands-on research experience that will enable me to conduct independent research in the future.

What are your career goals  

My goal is to become a fully-fledged biomedical research scientist, with expertise in the field of immunology.

I plan to complete various training courses and enhance my skills considerably. I’m interested in enrolling for a PhD at one of the top universities.

What’s great about immunology at Manchester 

I enjoy the regular BSI seminars and events. This has given me an opportunity to meet people from various backgrounds, doing different research. There is a wide range of research being conducted at Manchester, which enhances collaborative exchanges and encourages expert visits.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?  

I enjoy spending most of my time with family. I normally take my daughter for swimming over the weekend. I also enjoy going to the gym. I am motivated by being happy, fit, and healthy. If I am fit and healthy, everything else falls into place!

Follow Irene on LinkedIn

Photo: Brian Chan