Maria J Wawer, MD, PhD

  • Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health


Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Clinical Population and Family Health


  • Female

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BS, 1974 University of New Brunswick
  • 1977 McMaster University
  • PhD, 1979 University of Toronto


Global Health Activities

Rakai Health Sciences Program, Uganda: Dr. Wawer co-founded and is co-principle investigator on the Rakai Health Sciences Program, a 15 year research collaboration between Columbia, Johns Hopkins, and the Uganda Virus Research Institute. The Rakai Program conducts one of the largest community-based HIV epidemiological surveillance studies in the world, the Rakai Community Cohort Study (RCCS), which covers the population of some 50 rural villages in southwestern Uganda. Within the RCCS, researchers have nested multiple basic science, molecular epidemiology and behavioral studies; have conducted complex community and individually randomized HIV and STD prevention trials; and have carried out operations research on service delivery, including HIV testing and counseling, prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, and many others. Among other studies, we are currently conducting two randomized, controlled trials of male circumcision for HIV prevention in men and in their partners. The program recently initiated delivery of HIV antiretroviral drugs in Rakai villages (under the CDC-Uganda PEPFAR grant), and has received NIH funds to evaluate the early effects of ARV introduction at the community level. An NIH grant has been submitted, via NIAID, to continue this work subsequent to the Office of AIDS Research grant.