We are located on Mulago hill, on the 2nd floor of the Pathology & Microbiology building. The department is central and part of the Makerere University College of Health Sciences located on Mulago campus in Kampala, Uganda.Medical Microbiology is one of the twenty  Read More

The Department Medical Microbiology in the College of Health Sciences
The Department of Medical Microbiology is located on Mulago hill, on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Pathology & Microbiology building. The department is central and part of the Makerere University College of Health Sciences located on Mulago campus in Kampala, Uganda.Medical Microbiology is one of the twenty two departments of the College of Health sciences and it belongs to the School of Biomedical Sciences. The latter is one of the four functional Schools of Makerere University College of Health Sciences. 

Our Call: Training future Medical Microbiologists
In Uganda, as are other sub-Saharan African countries, communicable microbial diseases contribute to more than 60% of the disease burden.   Uganda, like the majority of sub-Saharan Africa and other developing areas of the world is in the midst of a public health crisis.  The plethora of infectious diseases that runs rampant in Uganda has contributed to the sluggish social and economic development.
We hold the mandate of training Makerere University students and scientists in infection biology and its application to infectious diseases control. All aspects of Medical microbiology (Bacteriology, Mycology, Immunology, Virology, Parasitology, and Molecular Microbiology) are broadly covered in which students take specific courses tailored to clinical microbiology where the different areas of infection biology are integrated.

Our Passion: Better Health care through Microbiological Research and Training
The department of Medical Microbiology strongly believes that microbiological research will play a leading role in solving Uganda’s medical ailments. In order to address the need for continued research and training in infectois diseases, the department has rapidly transformed into a vibrant research and training center within the College of Health Sciences. Research in our department is integrated, spanning from basic research, applied to operation/clinical research. We believe in this integration since basic research provides a foundation for appliead and operational research. Undergraduate and graduate (masters and PhD) from a wide range of the university’s programs are actively involved in our research programs. Upon finishing, the graduates pusue careers in research or health care or the academia.  The department has three Research projects supported by international grants and four international collaborative projects. There are 12 doctoral, 5 Masters, 4 undergraduate, 2 international students pursuing degree research projects related to these research projects.

The departmental Laboratories
Central to the department are five state of the art laboratories that ensure a vibrant research and training environment. Research is distributed throughout the laboratories. It is the laboratories that support students’ research and/or training. The labs also serve health professionals and non university research scientists and students’ interests spanning from high school vacationists, undergraduates, MSc, MMed, and PhD.

I warmly welcome you to the website for the department of Medical Microbiology, Makerere University College of Health Sciences. The department was established in the 1960s under the then Faculty of Medicine. Following formation of the Makerere University College of Health Sciences, the department was placed under the School of Biomedical Sciences. The department occupies the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Pathology/Microbiology building, and part of the clinical Research building both located at the College campus opposite New Mulago Hospital Complex. 

Our Mandate

In Uganda, infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Cholera, Typhoid, Meningitis, Candida, Hepatitis and Ebola make the highest burden of disease. There is an urgent need for specialized training in Medical Microbiology to facilitate the nation’s disease control programs. Our strategy in fighting the Ugandan disease burden is throughintegrated Education, Research and Training in all areas and fields of Medical Microbiology. Thus, the department has responded by seriously engaging in capacity building, developing and expanding her laboratory base. This has been achieved through national and international support.

We have devoted our efforts to achieving solid Medical Microbiology training in Uganda. Under the College of Health Sciences, we are mandated to:

Teach Medical Microbiology to undergraduate students: Medical, Dental, Pharmacy, Nursing and Environmental Health students. The department also trains national and international non-medical students (both undergraduate and graduate) from a wide range of academic programs.

Train Specialists in Laboratory Medicine - Masters and PhDs.

Conduct Research and Training relevant to infectious diseases, emphasizing integration of Basic, Applied and Clinical/Operational research. Research in our department is integrated, spanning from Basic, Applied to Operational or Clinical. We believe in this integration since strategic basic research provides a foundation for applied and operational research or health care.

Community Service in the diagnosis, management & control of infectious diseases.

The Laboratories that have been developed or supported in the department include:

The Clinical Microbiology Laboratory: The Department of Medical Microbiology has the oldest teaching clinical microbiology laboratory in the country that has embarked on an international (ISO) accreditation process. This laboratory has taught well qualified and successful 10 students in Master of Medicine in Microbiology as well as 3 doctoral students.

The Immunology laboratory: The department has the first and only fully fledged immunology teaching laboratory in the University. The laboratory collaborates with the Makerere University Walter Reed, Medical Research Council and Join Clinical Research Centre Laboratories. The laboratory can perform and teach all T-cell and immunoglobulin based immunological techniques.

 The Molecular Biology Laboratory: This lab was started in 2003, and most of departmental Basic and applied research and training is done in this laboratory. The laboratory is well equipped and has trained over 150 undergraduate students, 35 Masters Students and 3 doctoral students. Currently, 7 PhD and 5 Masters Students are training in this laboratory.

The Mycology Laboratory: The Department of Medical Microbiology has the only Clinical Mycology laboratory in the country. It has been instrumental in detecting existing and new fungal infections in the era of HIV/AIDS. This laboratory is a powerful resource in dissemination of knowledge on diagnosis and treatment of fungal diseases.

BSL-3 Laboratory for TB culture: The Department has just completed construction of a state of the art BSL-3 laboratory that can enable it handle highly infectious agents. It is the only one in the University. This laboratory will enable the department to practically teach on wide range infectious agents that no other Ugandan University can. The laboratory was officially opened on the 28th August, 2009 during the launch of the Makerere University college of Health Sciences.

The Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory: The Department has acquired funds to construct a Clinical molecular diagnostics laboratory. It will be the first one in the region. This will tremendously increase the capacity of the Department to teach and introduce molecular techniques in the diagnosis of infectious diseases in the University and country at large.

Whether you are a student, health professional or high caliber Researcher (local or International), the department of Medical Microbiology warmly welcomes you. Feel free to take an online tour of our research activities, facilities, departmental laboratories, and training programmes (academic and short courses).

I will be happy to answer your question concerning education, research or any service offered by the department. Feel free to contact me.


Academic staff: 15

  • PhD holders: 5
  • Masters degree holders: 7
  • Bachelors degree holders: 3
  • Professors: 1
  • Associate Professors: 2
  • Senior Lecturers: 3
  • Lecturers: 4
  • Assistant Lecturers: 2
  • Teaching Assistants: 3
  • Research assistants: 10


  • Chief Technicians: 1
  • Principal Technicians: 2
  • Senior Technologists: 1
  • Laboratory technicians: 2
  • Laboratory assistant:

Administrative staff:

  • Administrative assistant (Laboratory affairs): 2
  • Departmental secretary: 1
  • Data entrant: 1
  • Office messengers: 1
  • Sanitary Officers:

Academic Programs:

Undergraduate courses coordinated by the department:

  • FOM 2211 (Principles of Microbiology & Pathology); Disorders of the Central Nervous system; FOM 3111 (Disorders of the cardiovascular & Respiratory systems); FOM 3112 (Disorders of the Gastro Intestinal tract); FOM 3212 (Disorders of the Genito-Urinary Tract); FOM 3213 (Tropical Infectious Diseases); Practical sessions in the above courses: -to Medical, Pharmacy, Dental and Nursing students
  • Applied and Environmental Microbiology: -to Bsc Environmental Health (School of Public Health)

Graduate Programs:

  • PhD program in Infectious diseases
  • PhD program in Immunology
  • PhD program in Molecular Microbiology

Current number of Doctoral students: 9

  • Master of Medicine (Medical Microbiology) Average enrollment per year: 3 students
  • Post-graduate courses coordinated by the department:

MDS 7103: Oral and Dental Microbiology;
MDS 7102: Oral Molecular Biology; (Master of Medicine Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery)
Micro-pathology: Surgery, Orthopaedics, Obstetrics &Gynaecology
Advanced immunology: Surgery

Short courses (One month)

  • Applied and Diagnostic molecular biology
  • Diagnostic Immunology
  • Immunology in the tropics (coordinated and funded by the Wellcome Trust-UVRI research collaboration)

Laboratories: 6

  • The Immunology laboratory
  • The Clinical Microbiology Laboratory
  • The Mycology Laboratory
  • BSL3 Laboratory (Mycobacteria culture)
  • Molecular biology Laboratory
  • Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory


  • Average publications per year by the departmental faculty: 50
  • Total publications since 1995: 350

Grant support to the department

  • Individual grants to faculty: 10
  • Collaborative grants between faculty and other scientists: 7