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Research group - Eleni Aklillu

We conduct large multi-national clinical pharmacology research projects with focus on Global and major public health problems.

We investigate genetic and environmental factors that are of importance in determining inter-individual and inter-ethnic variations in treatment response, and susceptibility to adverse events such as drug induced liver and CNS toxicity. We are conducting several case-control, parallel comparative, prospective observational studies, randomized clinical trials, drug interaction and dose optimization studies in various patient cohorts including adult, children and pregnant women. We are working on treatment optimization of several communicable and non-communicable diseases including the three most deadly infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria), neglected tropical diseases, breast cancer and antimicrobial resistance that claim millions of lives worldwide, especially in sub Saharan Africa. For the past 15 years, we have been conducting several pharmacogenetics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics, drug-drug interaction studies in well-characterized large prospective patient cohorts in East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda). Through the PROFORMA project (, we are currently conducting pharmacovigilance and post marketing surveillance of mass drug administration and vaccinations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. Our goal is to provide evidence-based recommendations for personalized medicine, and for policymakers to improve/revise treatment guidelines and global health policies.

Research area

  1. Treatment optimization of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria - 'The big three”
  2. Maternal and child health
  3. Neglected tropical diseases (diverse group of infectious diseases that are endemic in tropical and subtropical regions, such as schistosomiasis, leishmaniosis, onchocerciasis)
  4. Discovery and validation of novel genetic, metabolic and proteomic biomarker for drug induced liver toxicity
  5. Non-communicable diseases (breast cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases)
  6. Antimicrobial resistance, community and hospital acquired infections.
  7. Pharmacovigilance and post-marketing surveillance in public health program involving mass-drug-administration and immunization.

Research group leader Eleni Aklillu

Eleni Aklillu

Senior researcher
H5.Klin Farmakologi.Aklillu
H5 Department of Laboratory Medicine

Financial manager

Hanna Gador

Financial officer
H5.Administrativa kansliet.Ekonomi
H5 Department of Laboratory Medicine

Group members

Abbie Barry

PhD student
H5.Klin Farmakologi
H5 Department of Laboratory Medicine

Adam Fimbo

PhD student

Jemal Hussain

PhD student
H5.Klin Farmakologi.Aklillu
H5 Department of Laboratory Medicine

Joseph Kabatende

PhD student
H5.Klin Farmakologi
H5 Department of Laboratory Medicine

Christabel Khaemba

PhD student
H5.Klin Farmakologi
H5 Department of Laboratory Medicine
H5.Klin Farmakologi
H5 Department of Laboratory Medicine

External funding

European Union, H2020 - European and developing countries clinical trial partnership (EDCTP), Swedish research council, Swedish development cooperation agency (Sida), MSB-Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, Astra-Zeneca

Research techniques

  • Biomarker discovery and validation
  • Genotyping
  • Phenotyping
  • Quantitative PCR
  • LC/MS/MS
  • HPLC
  • PK-PD-PG modelling
  • Epigenetic studies

Teaching assignments

  • Research methodology,
  • Pharmacology Pharmacogenetics
  • Infectious diseases pharmacology
  • Antiretroviral pharmacology
  • Antimalarial drugs Pharmacology

Selected publications

Effect of pharmacogenetics on plasma lumefantrine pharmacokinetics and malaria treatment outcome in pregnant women.
Mutagonda RF, Kamuhabwa AAR, Minzi OMS, Massawe SN, Asghar M, Homann MV, et al
Malar. J. 2017 07;16(1):267

HLA-B*57 Allele Is Associated with Concomitant Anti-tuberculosis and Antiretroviral Drugs Induced Liver Toxicity in Ethiopians.
Petros Z, Kishikawa J, Makonnen E, Yimer G, Habtewold A, Aklillu E
Front Pharmacol 2017 ;8():90

Genome-wide association and replication study of anti-tuberculosis drugs-induced liver toxicity.
Petros Z, Lee MM, Takahashi A, Zhang Y, Yimer G, Habtewold A, et al
BMC Genomics 2016 Sep;17(1):755

CYP2B6 genotype-based efavirenz dose recommendations during rifampicin-based antituberculosis cotreatment for a sub-Saharan Africa population.
Mukonzo JK, Bisaso RK, Ogwal-Okeng J, Gustafsson LL, Owen JS, Aklillu E
Pharmacogenomics 2016 Apr;17(6):603-13

CYP2B6*6 genotype and high efavirenz plasma concentration but not nevirapine are associated with low lumefantrine plasma exposure and poor treatment response in HIV-malaria-coinfected patients.
Maganda BA, Minzi OM, Ngaimisi E, Kamuhabwa AA, Aklillu E
Pharmacogenomics J. 2016 Feb;16(1):88-95