Research-for-Cure Academy

Dismas Odhiambo Oketch

Nationality: Kenyan
Institution: Kenya Medical Research Institute
Country of work: Kenya

What is your motivation for engaging in HIV cure and remission research?

I believe our best hope for ending HIV forever lies in our relentless pursuit of two critical pathways: one, finding a safe, effective and affordable HIV vaccine and, two: finding a permanent cure for HIV.
The role of health in development cannot be overemphasized. An HIV cure will ensure enhanced quality of life and productivity that will make every global citizen realize their full potential. Furthermore, an HIV cure will ensure the enormous individual and collective resources gobbled up by HIV prevention and treatment interventions could be redirected to capital projects that creates jobs for millions of young people globally.

What is your current area of research?

My areas of research cover: screening, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections which frequently serve as synergistic co-pathogens with HIV by either perpetuating HIV shedding at cervico-vaginal mucosae and increase susceptibility or transmissibility of incident HIV infections; HIV prevention, treatment, cure and remission research; antibody mediated prevention for HIV using broadly neutralizing antibodies [VRC01]; and screening, prevention and treatment of opportunistic infections and HIV co-morbidities, including TB and hepatitis B. I aspire to be a global leader in the field of vaccines and immunotherapy within the decade.