Prof. Joram Josephat Buza

Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST)

Current Position:  Professor in Immunology and currently Deputy Vice Chancellor responsible for Academics, Research and Innovation at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Sciences and Technology

Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine (Sokoine University Of Agriculture 1984-1988), MSc Veterinary Pathology and Microbiology (University of Nairobi 1989-1992), PhD (Sokoine University of Agriculture 1994-1997).

Personal Statement:  I am a Scientist with deep interest in the immunology of infectious diseases as well as epidemiology of zoonotic diseases. My vision is to use my training and expertise to help eliminate major diseases affecting both humans and livestock. To achieve this goal, I would like to work at the cutting edge of infectious disease investigations to explore new methods for disease predictions, diagnosis, treatment and control.

Starting off as a Veterinarian with interest in pathology and immunology, I have gained a lot of international experience as a Scientist in Kenya, Ethiopia, Japan, United States and Canada before coming back to Tanzania as a Professor at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Sciences and Technology (NM-AIST). As a veterinary Immunologist, I have worked on immunopathogenesis of different diseases including trypanosomiases, bovine paratuberculisis, bovine tuberculosis and Marek’s disease with the goal for elucidating ways for novel vaccines against these diseases. However after joining the Department of Global Health and Biomedical Sciences at NM-AIST in 2010, my research focus changed from addressing purely animal diseases or animal health to an ecological approach ie One Health by focusing on diseases that are communicable between humans, livestock and wildlife and the way human activities such as agriculture and mining are leading to emergence of new diseases. The area of Arusha in north Tanzania is a hotspot for biodiversity being close to Tarangire National Park (NP), Lake Manyara NP, Ngorongoro Conservation, and Serengeti NP all of which are surrounded by human settlements. These ecosystems create unique opportunities for the interaction of wild animals, human and their livestock which is a good environment for interspecies transmission of communicable diseases particularly zoonoses. Todate my research in One health have been through MSc and PhD students I supervise and through the competitive research grants for which I am the PI or Co-PI. Some examples include research on Rotavirus cross infection between children and piglets in Urban Arusha, waterborne diseases and antimicrobial resistant bacteria in the Arusha urban meat chain. One Health projects funded by research grants currently going on include the Molecular Epidemioloy of Brucellosis, the Social Economic and Environmental Drivers of Zoonoses focusing on brucellosis, Q fever, leptospirosis and rickettsioses, all funded by BBSRC, UK, the Global Health, Emerging Infectious Diseases, And Food Safety Implications Of Bushmeat Consumption In Tanzania funded by DTRA, the Program for Enhancing Health and Productivity of Livestock funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates and the African Science Partnership for Intervention Research Excellence (Afrique One-Aspire) funded by the Welcome Trust.

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