Professor Catriona Waitt BSc (Hons), MBChB (Hons), MRCP, DTM&H, PhD

Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Global Health Pharmacology & Therapeutics


Research Overview

My Wellcome Fellowship will increase understanding of the transfer of medication through breastmilk from mother to infant. Priority drugs under study are antiretrovirals, antimalarials, anti-tuberculosis drugs (both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant tuberculosis) and antibacterials and is being undertaken between the Infectious Diseases Institute, Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda, the University of Cape Town, South Africa and the University of Liverpool. An accompanying Public Engagement Enrichment grant, ATtaining EQUity of Access TO Reseach (At The EQUATOR) will ensure the priorities of communities are addressed, study design and methods are discussed and results are communicated in an appropriate and timely manner. I am also Chief Investigator on the EDCTP-funded VirTUAL Consortium which combines pharmacometric techniques (physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modelling and population pharmacokinetic modelling) with a clinical trial and observational pharmacokinetic studies to understand the drug-drug interactions between antiretrovirals and anti-tuberculosis drugs, including among individuals who are often excluded from clinical trials. In addition to the primary data, this has enabled integration of clinical and pharmacometric methods and provides a valuable paradigm to use for future evaluation of complex pharmacology in complex populations. To build capacity in pharmacometric approaches, I am a faculty member of Pharmacometrics Africa ( and the Uganda chapter was launched in September 2021.

Pharmacology in complex populations

It is essential that drugs are studied in the populations who will receive these drugs, that the studies are done ethically and efficiently and that capacity is built in the regions of the world where the diseases requiring drug treatment are prevalent. I focus primarily on drug exposure in pregnancy and breastfeeding (and to the infant) and the work requires clinical trials, observational studies, pharmacokinetic modelling (both PBPK and population PK), bioanalysis in appropriate body fluids and public engagement and involvement.

Drug drug interactions

Many key diseases co-exist and it is important to understand how the use of one drug can impact on the exposure of another drug given at the same time. I am Chief Investigator on the EDCTP-funded VirTUAL consortium which combines pharmacokinetic modelling, plasma and intracellular pharmacokinetic analysis, a clinical trial and observational pharmacokinetic studies in order to understand interactions between second-line antiretroviral therapy and first-line TB treatment.

Public engagement

Whilst public engagement and involvement is a component of all of my funded projects, there is a specific need to listen, co-create and innovate in partnership, particularly for complex and understudied groups. Wellcome Public Engagement enrichment award, ATtaining EQUity of Access TO Research (At The EQUATOR) is furthering this agenda.

Research Group Membership

Research Grants

HIV self-testing Evaluation in Uganda and Nigeria


January 2022 - December 2024

Maternal and Infant Lactation pharmacoKinetics (MILK)


March 2021 - February 2025



February 2019 - March 2022

VIrTUAL - Vulnerable populatIon TUberculosis AntiretroviraL


February 2018 - January 2024

Dolutegravir in Pregnant HIV mothers and Neonates (DolPHIN2)


December 2016 - July 2023

Development and validation of an assay for quantitation of antiretrovirals in human breastmilk.


January 2013 - July 2015

Population pharmacokinetic study of postnatal and breastfeeding women on antiretroviral therapy


February 2015 - January 2021

Investigation into the relationship between pharmacological and immunological responses to tuberculosis treatment and risk of early death


January 2013 - August 2014