Profile of Prof. Charles Olweny Vice Chancellor of Uganda Martyrs University

Vice Chancellor Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi
Vice Chancellor Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi

Prof. Charles Mark Lwanga Olweny is a Ugandan physician, academician and a medical researcher. He is a professor of medicine and vice-chancellor at Uganda Martyrs University,  Nkozi, Mpigi District, in Central Uganda.

Charles Olweny was born in 1944, in Tororo, Tororo District, in Eastern Uganda. He served as the director of the Uganda Cancer Institute, from 1972 until 1982. Under his stewardship, a team of Ugandan medical researchers were the first group to demonstrate that liver cancer could be successfully treated with chemotherapy using the drug doxorubicin, which is still the mainstay of treatment for liver cancer today.
EDUCATION

Professor Olweny attended St. Peter’s College Tororo for his O-Level education (S1-S4). He attended St. Mary’s College Kisubi for his A-Level classes (S5-S6).

In 1961, Olweny entered Makerere University School of Medicine, the oldest medical school in Uganda and East Africa, which was founded in 1924. graduating with the degree of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB), in 1966. Later, he obtained the degree of Master of Medicine in Internal Medicine (MMed).

He followed that with the degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD), all from Makerere University. Olweny’s chosen speciality is medical oncology.

In 1982, Olweny travelled to Australia and, while there, he studied for and was awarded the degree of Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (FRACP) by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, based in Sydney.

WORK EXPERIENCE

Charles Olweny served as the director of the Uganda Cancer Institute, from 1972 until 1982. Under his stewardship, the team of Ugandan medical researchers that he led were the first group to demonstrate that liver cancer could be successfully treated with chemotherapy using the drug doxorubicin, which is still the mainstay of treatment for liver cancer today. They were also able to confirm that Burkitt lymphoma could be cured with a high dose of chemotherapy and showed that the same was true for childhood Hodgkin disease. They documented the incidence of endemic Kaposi sarcoma in children and conducted clinical trials on how to treat it.

During the same time frame, Olweny served – first as a lecturer, then senior lecturer and later as professor of Medicine – in the Faculty of Internal Medicine, at Makerere University School of Medicine, serving as head of department, from 1979 until 1982.

While in Australia, during the 1980s, he served as clinical professor at the Department of Medicine & Surgery, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia. He also served as senior director for Medical Oncology, Cancer Control Programme, Royal Adelaide Hospital.

In the 1990s, Dr. Olweny migrated to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to take up appointment as medical oncologist at St. Boniface General Hospital, in Winnipeg.

He also served as coordinator, Section of Hematology & Oncology at CancerCare Manitoba, and as an associate staff at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg. He was appointed to his present position in 2006 and assumed office in September of that year. Professor Charles Olweny has written over 20 books.

FAMILY LIFE
Professor Charles Olweny is married. He and his wife are the parents of five adult children.

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