The School of Life Sciences and Bio-Engineering (LiSBE)

  1. Introduction
  2. Departments and Degree Programmes
  3. African Centre of Excellence in the School of Life Sciences: CREATES FNS:
  4. LiSBE staff members.


Life Sciences are among the most exciting areas of biological research, comprising all fields of science that involve the study of living organisms: plants, animals, human beings and microorganisms. Biology, plant and animal ecology, agriculture and medicine are the main centre pieces of the life sciences. Modern research employing molecular biology and biotechnology has extended the life sciences to diverse specializations, with real life applications in health, agriculture, ecology as well as in bio-industries.

The Life Sciences programme has been specifically designed to address challenges caused by the diversity and complexity of living systems, and real-life problems that affect livelihood of the people in the Sub-Saharan region. The curriculum emphasizes the teaching of basic biological concepts, the use of engineering principles in the analysis and manipulation of biological systems, and particular applications of life sciences. After completing mandatory programme courses, students specialize in four interdisciplinary areas; Health and Biomedical Sciences; Sustainable Agriculture; Food and Nutritional Sciences; Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management.

Bio-Engineering or biological engineering is the application of engineering principles to address challenges in the fields of biology and medicine. Conventionally, biological engineering employs knowledge and expertise from a number of pure and applied sciences, such as bioprocess engineering, bio-catalysis, bio-separation and purification processes, biomechanism, genetics and many others. It is also used in the design of medical devices, diagnostic tools and equipment, biocompatible materials, and other important medical needs that improve the living standards of societies.

The Bio-Engineering programme concentrates in imparting skills from a number of pure and applied sciences such as protein chemistry, bioinformatics, microbial engineering and bioreactor design. Currently students in this programme can choose between two specializations namely: Bio-product Development, and Vaccines and Diagnostics Development.

Quick Links

LiSBE Academic staff members.

Courses taught under LiSBE

Offered PhD and MSc theses

Previous and current projects.

Conferences and workshops hosted by LiSBE at the NM-AIST.

Current students.

Current collaborators.

Current LiSBE Research Themes.

Departments in LiSE

  • Global Health and Bio-Medical Sciences (GHBM) link to the respective staff
  • Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity Conservation (SABC)
  • Food Biotechnology and Nutritional Sciences (FBNS)
  • Bio-Engineering (BioE)

The School of Life Sciences and Bio-Engineering (LiSBE) seeks to stage-manage its core functions using creative, knowledgeable, and imaginative working teams, comprising core scientists, visiting/part-time scientists, post-docs and postgraduate students. The school endeavours to achieve global academic excellence with local relevance, such that the research platforms will turn domestic challenges into domestic advantages. Graduates of this school will be well equipped with theoretical knowledge, practical skills and experience in using cutting-edge technology to apply biological principles to solve problems across a spectrum of important life science applications. Career paths open to the graduates include research positions in academia and/or industry but also business management and techno-preneurship, due to strategically structured curricula, which combines both, biological and engineering knowledge on one side, and business and humanities concepts, on the other.

Degree Programmes in the School of LiSBE

The school of Life Sciences and Bioengineering offers a MSc and PhD in Life Sciences and in Bioengineering. In addition, the school is offering a MSc in Public Health Research since the academic year 2015/2016 and a MSc Conservation Management of African Ecosystems since the academic year 2016/2017. There is further a planned MSc in Nanotechnology through CREATES-FNS (development of curriculum under way). The School also offers MSc and PhD programmes by pure research only, including few short courses to equip students with necessary research and writing skills. The School emphasizes on innovative and cutting-edge research, which is aimed at providing answers to problems facing the community and industry. MSc and PhD candidates must conduct research and subsequently write and defend their dissertations or theses to qualify for the degree award. Currently, research conducted at the School focuses on the following research themes; Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Security; Conservation of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management; Human and Animal Health in the context of Eco-Health, as described in the NM-AIST Research and Innovation Agenda.

African Centre of Excellence in the School of Life Sciences: CREATES FNS:

With nearly 850 million hungry people globally in 2010-12, there are social, ethical, and political imperatives to put more emphasis on food and nutritional security, particularly in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, which is characterized by high food and nutrition insecurity ranging between 37% and 76%.Efforts to ensure food and nutrition security in the region have been compounded by a number of challenges; poor agricultural productivity caused by poor agricultural practices, prevalent diseases and pests, climate variability, low plant and animal genetic potential and also the food loss, which is characterized by reduction in quantity and quality of the produced food along the value chain. Furthermore, as a consequence of spatial expansion of agriculture in order to produce more food, a number of inadvertent negative consequences have been observed.

These include the loss of biodiversity and threatening of endangered species as well as the close interactions between humans and wildlife, which has precipitated outbreaks of diseases that are threatening survival of humans and their livestock. To address these complex challenges, the proposal seeks to establish an Eastern and Southern African Centre for Research, agricultural Advancement, Teaching Excellence and Sustainability in Food and Nutritional Security (CREATES-FNS), which will use a multidisciplinary approach to ensure environment-sustainable food and nutritional security. The Centre will provide innovative research, training, and outreach programmes in the region, taking advantage of the strong existing international and regional collaboration activities in the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST). CREATES-FNS will serve as a regional excellence hub to achieve and promote specific Sustainable Development Goals and the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 under the following aspects:

Figure 1. Four main pillars of the CREATES-FNS programme.

  • Research based training and support of excellent professionals and academia.
  • Provide an e-learning platform to promote graduate teaching programmes, research activities, and dissemination of information;
  • Serve as a state-of-art core laboratory to support Life Science and related research fields;
  • Promote technological research output in good agricultural practice (GAP), food safety, nutrition and health using bio-nanoscience and bio-repositories for future research activities;
  • Establish data repository to build capacity on predicting risks generated through climate variability and to provide scenarios on climate mitigation and adaptation.

1 Hulda Shaidi Swai Professor
2 Anna C TREYDTE Associate professor
3 Emmanuel Mpolya Senior Lecturer
3 Linus K. Munishi Senior Lecturer
3 Elingarami Sauli Nkya Lecturer
4 Katharina Kreppel postdoctoral training coordinator

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