Robert Machang’u

Professor of Microbiology
SUA Pest Management Centre
Summary information

Prof. Machang’u is a microbiologist at the Pest Management Centre, and Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, Sokoine University of Agriculture.

He is one of founders of the Pest Management Centre that was formerly known as Rodent Research Project. Prof Machang’u was the first Director of the SUA Pest Management Centre, in the year 2000, and a co-founder of the SUA APOPO Rodent Biosensor Technology research, which is now operational in Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola and Cambodia.

He also coordinated the university wide infrastructural and academic development program (acro. SUA-VLIR), which was a joint venture involving SUA and the Belgian Government.

Prof. Machang’u is an avid advocate against tobacco use, and through his engagement in this field he rose to become the Chairperson of a national NGO, the Tanzania Public Health Association for the period 2004 to 2008).


In 2008, he took leave from SUA to work with the Non Communicable Disease Cluster of the World Health Organization. Initially he was stationed in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, as a National Professional Officer, and later in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and Kampala, Uganda, as Technical Advisor in Tobacco Control. In 2015 Prof. Machang’u returned to SUA to take up the position of Professor of Microbiology on a two-year contract with the University. He continues with teaching of undergraduate and graduate students, research and consultancy work.

In the course of his career he has published extensively in scholarly journals and books and he is a member of various professional associations in the areas of microbiology and public health. His main research areas have covered water-borne microbial diseases, rodent vector borne diseases and zoonosis. Prof. Machang’u has furthermore pioneered public health education and lead campaigns against tobacco use, in Tanzania and in other countries of Africa and beyond in the context of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

  Academic Qualification (year obtained)     

  1. PhD-Microbiology/immunology.(1991) – University Guelph  (Canada)
  2. Zertifikat (1983) Hochshuldidaktik   -Gesamthochschule Kassel (Germany F.R)
  3. Doktors der Veterinaemedizin (1982)   – University Giessen (Germany F.R.)
  4. Doctor Medic Veterinara (1979)  – Agric. Inst. Cluj.  (Romania)



Research Interest
  • Pathogenesis of bacterial infections – with emphasis on the role of bacterial toxins in disease
  • Pathogenic spirochetes (Leptospira, Borrelia, Treponema   
  • Rodent biology and rodent transmitted diseases (incl. plague, typhus)
  • Use of rodents as detectors of landmines and TB pathogens     
  • Anthrax:  disease transmission in livestock and humans 
  • Tobacco Control
  • Use of bacteria as biological pesticides 


Contact information

Pest Management Center 
​​​​​​​Sokoine University of Agriculture 
P.O. Box 3110 
Morogoro, Tanzania. 

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