Dr Arthur K. Tugume has been appointed Dean, School of Biosciences, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University. He will serve a four-year term effective 1st March 2022. Dr Tugume, who has been Head, Department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology takes on from Dr Joseph Kyambadde who has held the position since February 2018.
Dr Kyambadde handed over to Dr Tugume today, 7th March 2022 at a ceremony overseen by the outgoing Deputy Principal, Prof. Fredrick Jones Muyodi and witnessed by the Principal, Dr Tumps Winston Ireeta, and the College academic and administrative leaders.
During his term of office, Dr Kyambadde has registered numerous achievements. He led the review of curricula for College programmes including; Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science –External, Bachelor of Sports Science, Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology, Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology, Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Aquaculture, Master of Science in Biochemistry, Master of Science in Botany, and Master of Science in Zoology. The programmes have been successfully reviewed, approved by the University structures and are due for submission to the National Council for Higher Education for accreditation. Additionally, Dr Kyambadde oversaw the amalgamation of the Bachelor of Science programme, mitigated the closure threats to the Sports Science Unit by supporting the realignment of the programme to meet the intended purpose, and chaired the Graduate Training and Research Committee to fast-track presentations of graduate students’ proposals interrupted by the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent mitigation measures. During his tenure, four new academic programmes have been approved at College level. These are; Master of Science in Genetics, Master of Science in Microbiology and Plant Pathology, Master of Science in Applied Economic Botany, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Zoology.
Dr Kyambadde has also served on various committees of the University. He has been a member of the University Senate (2018-2022), member of the Senate Admissions Committee (2018-2022), member of the Mature Age and Pre-entry Exams Committee (2018-2022), member of the CoNAS Management Committees, and member of the College Curriculum Review Committee.
Presenting his handover report, Dr Kyambadde appreciated the University Management for granting him the opportunity to serve as Dean, School of Biosciences. He congratulated the new dean upon his appointment and acknowledged the support rendered to him by the former Principal, Prof. J.Y.T Mugisha, the outgoing Deputy Principal, Prof. Fredrick Jones Muyodi, and all the academic and administrative leaders he served with during his term of office. He also appreciated all members of staff at CoNAS for the support and cordial working relationship, and pledged to continue supporting the incoming Dean and the College leadership in general.
In his remarks, the incoming Dean, Dr Arthur K. Tugume thanked the University Management for appointing him to the position. He commended his predecessor for the achievements registered and committed to further improve the school.
About Dr Arthur K. Tugume
Dr Arthur K. Tugume is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University. He attained his PhD (Plant Pathology) in 2010 from the University of Helsinki (Finland). He holds an MSc in Crop Science (Plant Breeding and Genetics), and a BSc in Botany and Biochemistry, both from Makerere University. He is highly experienced in the subject areas of Plant Pathology and Genetics.
He has served Makerere University in academic and administrative capacities: He was a member of the Biosciences programmes restructuring sub-committee (2010-2012) charged with the re-structuring of academic programmes in the domain of Biological Sciences at Makerere to align with the University’s collegiate system of governance. He served as Chairman, College of Natural Sciences’ Norwegian Higher Education Development (NORHED) capacity building programme (2012-2013), Chairman School of Biosciences research groups (2012-2014), and Chairman College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Research and Grants Initiative (2012-to-date). He has attended several international scientific fora in relation to plant pathology, biotechnology, capacity building and leadership in general.
Resource Mobilization, Scientific Research & International Collaboration: Dr Tugume’s research collaboration involves networks from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Finland, Czech Republic, Poland, Japan, England, Germany and USA. Since 2010, he has been Principal Investigator, Co-investigator, Coordinator, or Champion of various projects in the budget ranges of US$60,000 to US$5.7million for scientific research and/or institutional infrastructural/curriculum development. To mention a few: he was the Chairman of the Technical advisory committee (TAC) for a 6-year (2012-2017) IITA-led US$6.2million project operating in five countries (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique). This project undertook germplasm exchange of elite cassava genotypes and accelerated the development of cassava varieties with dual resistance to the two most destructive virus diseases of Cassava in the region: Cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD). He was the Coordinator and Team Leader for a 5-year (2016-2020) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Makerere University, Uganda, and Okayama University (OU), Japan. This MoU opened windows of collaborative activities between the two institutions in the areas of: Exchange of students, Exchange of faculty/staff, collaborative research, instructional and cultural programmes, and Exchange of research information. He is the coordinator of an AfDB-sponsored development project (US$3.8millon) at Makerere University (via the Ministry of Education and Sports) undertaking the renovation and equipping a Central Diagnostic Laboratory. This laboratory (hosted by the Department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology in CoNAS) upon completion will be a one-stop centre for diagnostic needs for scientists from across the 4-colleges of Makerere University (CoNAS, CAES, CoVAB, and CHS) that employ core biotechniques for their research. Dr Tugume is the PI of an on-going Banana BXW recovery project supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), aimed at deciphering the underlying mechanisms of banana recovery from Xanthomonas wilt infestation.
Dr Tugume has, in a period of 16 years (2002-2018) published 18 scientific research articles in international peer-reviewed journals, supervised 7 MSc and 25 BSc students to completion in subject areas of plant pathology, virology, genetics and plant breeding. He is currently supervising additional 5 MSc and 5 PhD students besides scores of BSc students in the same disciplines. He has examined 6 MSc and 3 PhD Dissertations/Theses, and also served as an opponent /discussant of 2 PhD defences in plant pathology/virology. He is a reviewer for the following international peer reviewed journals: African Journal of Agricultural Research, Plant Disease, Annals of Applied Biology, Plant Pathology; Journal of General Plant Pathology; African Journal of Biotechnology, Physiological and Molecular Plant Pathology, and Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology.