NIMR-MMRC has been one of Tanzania’s most active research centers with longstanding collaborations and partnerships with academic universities and international consortia such as the TB Sequel, Pan-African Consortium for the Evaluation of Antituberculosis Antibiotics, (PanACEA), U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP) and the University of Munich (LMU) in Germany. In November 2010, MMRC officially became one of eight medical research centers of NIMR, which operates under the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children.
Over the past decades, MMRC has grown in research across a broad range of infectious diseases. The center has diversified its activities to create synergies and uses its technical infrastructure for multiple disease areas, such as HIV (vaccines, drugs and diagnostics trials), Tuberculosis (drugs, diagnostics and vaccines trials) and major co-morbidities such as helminthic infections and human papilloma virus (HPV). Research activities are supported by an active Community Advisory Board (CAB), which was created in 2005 as part of an effort to facilitate dialogue between community members, study volunteers and the research team.
NIMR-MMRC has demonstrated success in recruitment of difficult sub-populations such as sex workers, children, remotely living individuals and prisoners. Research projects are organized under three main departments that correspond to the three main areas of research of the center; HIV and Reproductive Health, Tuberculosis and Emerging Diseases and Social Sciences and Community Engagement. Supporting departments include Administration, ICT, Data management and Finance.
As a research institution, MMRC has strived to build capacity in conducting new diagnostics and laboratory processes according to ethical guidelines, national and international standard operating procedures. The center has developed a state of art safety research laboratory serving as a research laboratory in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. This safety laboratory has been accredited by the College of American Pathologists. It performs diagnostic and follows up blood tests for all studies conducted at the center. The laboratory has been a key link in ensuring high quality output in diagnostics necessary in the conducts of research.