Biological Science

Department of Bilogical Science

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel:   +256-414289701

Welcome message by Head of Department

I welcome you to the Department of Biological Sciences page of the KyU website

UgandaÔÇÖs future lies in educating our people to the highest possible standards. It is our task to work together to make this a reality considering the challenges being faced as a developing country.The Biological Sciences Department endeavours to address the profound changes in biology and teaching of biology. There is effort to expose students to science and scientific process as a way of thinking and doing things.

The courses offered in general explore the identification and understanding of interesting and important areas of biology that will affect individuals throughout their life and help in developing a continuing appreciation for science. The learning approach used in the Department allows for development of a sense of importance of science, scientific thinking, rigor and excitement that characterizes studies of the living world. In addition, values like independence of thought, respect for individual talents and innovative research are being encouraged.

We promote a research inspired curriculum where all students have the opportunity to complete a piece of independent research as part of their undergraduate programme. As a department we encourage student led and peer to peer activities through which critical life skills are developed and experiences shared.

The need to improve partnerships with industry, business, cultural, intercultural and social institutions in order to enhance the opportunities for our students to develop the skills necessary to flourish in life is being tapped. I encourage many persons to visit the website for updates on department issues. I also encourage potential students for graduate and post graduate courses to survey and use this website.

You are all welcome

Mbeiza Mutekanga Norah (PhD)


The Department of Biological Sciences is one of the premier providers of biology related courses in the country. It was merged as Department of Biological Sciences under the Faculty of Science from former ITEK and UPK Biological Science departments at the inception of the Kyambogo University in 2003. The Department has doubtless benefits from the extensive academic teaching and the profound research experience of its members, all of whom are recognized authorities in their fields.

The Department offers the following programs:

  1. Bachelor of Science Technology (BST/B)
  2. Bachelor of Science with Education (BSc. ED)
  3. Bachelor of Education in Biology (BEd.)
  4. Bachelor of Education ÔÇô Integrated Science (BISC)
  5. Bachelor of Teacher Education (BTE)
  6. Ordinary Diploma in Science Technology (ODST)

The programs are meant to produce all-round graduates who are well-equipped with not only teaching, technical and laboratory skills, but also have sufficient background knowledge to enable them cope with the science based world of today and the increasing technological demands of the future. 

Biology for KYU Undergraduates

Students in the KYU Department of Biology thrive in an atmosphere that promotes exploration and collaboration across all areas of research and study. Undergraduates enhance the quality of the department with their research, knowledge, and creativity. Rigorous standards and a supportive culture combine to foster a powerful environment for learning at KYU.

Undergraduate study in the department provides a strong foundation for research and careers in the biomedical industry, medicine, pharmaceutical and biotech management and finance, intellectual property law, bioethics, forensics, and teaching.


The undergraduate curriculum is designed to give students a sophisticated understanding of the fundamental principles and prevailing and emerging approaches to biology with particular emphasis on molecular and cellular biology. KYU gives biology students an exceptionally high competency in the foundational knowledge essential to scientific inquiry. Coursework emphasizes methods and logic rather than a particular set of facts. 

All undergraduate students participate in laboratory research to gain a working knowledge of experimental design, data evaluation, and scientific presentation. The department conducts research in the following fields, and undergraduates are exposed to a broad range of these activities:

  • biochemistry and biophysics
  • bioengineering
  • cancer biology
  • cell biology
  • computational and systems biology
  • developmental biology
  • genetics
  • human genetics
  • immunology
  • microbiology
  • molecular medicine and human disease
  • neurobiology
  • plant molecular biology
  • structural biology

Studies in these areas employ theoretical and computational approaches as well as experimental model systems, including human, mouse, frog, fish, fruit fly, worm, plant, yeast, bacteria, and cell culture in vitro. 

KYU BiologyÔÇÖs affiliated labs and research centers afford unprecedented opportunities for undergraduates to participate in groundbreaking projects and interdisciplinary collaborations with clinical and therapeutic applications. Students also can pursue independent research projects through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

 KYU Biology undergraduates feel like full partners in the work of the department. They embrace rigor and exploration, more energized than daunted by new challenges. And yes, the life of a KYU Biology undergrad is intense and demanding, no doubt about it, but it is also invigorating, with a healthy balance of freedom and responsibility. 

The culture of the KYU Biology undergraduate program is collaborative. The atmosphere is one of camaraderie rather than competition. Students tutor one another knowing that, in some other area of the subject, they might change roles. Biology students, plan seminars and social events, and swap advice and experiences. 

KYU Biology students take leading roles in shaping the undergraduate life of the department. The Biology Students Biotech Club sponsors an annual lecture with a prominent biologist, a variety of student-faculty gatherings, community-service activities, and seminars focusing on biomedical ethics and career development.


A centre of excellence in research training in Biological Sciences and Technology.


To advance and promote knowledge, practical skills and positive values in Biological Science and Technology for service, sustainable development and transformation of society.


To collect, evaluate, synthesize information and apply research findings for the well being of society.

To develop, modify, and test ideas about the rules that organize living systems.



 To produce students who are skill based with research culture and being able to address the environmental biological and educational challenges of the contemporary world.



 Different programs have several objectives, some of them are:

  1. The BST/B program is intended to address the current shortfall in the number of trained Ugandans in Science and Technology that will offer scientific skills in Industry and in Scientific Research centres.
  2. The BEd is to provide quality in-service education and training to teachers and to accentuate their teacher efficiency and effectiveness.

The BSc.Ed course is to contain the big need for trained Biology teachers to meet the expanded Secondary School student population due to government policy of free Secondary School education and compulsory science subjects including Biology up to Ordinary Level. 

Graduate Study in Biology at KYU

 The Department is developing the following programs at MasterÔÇÖs level:

  1. Master of Science in Biology
  2. Master of Science in Microbiology
  3. Master of Science in Integrated Water Resource Management
  4. Master of Science in Environmental Management
  5. Master of Science in Fish Production and Value addition
  6. Master of Parasitology and Entomology
  7. Masters in Public Health
  8. Master of Science in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Kyambogo University is an internationally recognized pioneer in practical education by training biology teachers and research laboratory technologists. For over three decades now, the institutions that merged to form KYU have played a central role in the growth of science laboratory manpower for Agricultural and Medical Services in the country, while simultaneously preparing thousands of scientists, many of whom now enjoy notable scientific careers.

As a collegial and energetic community, the Department of Biological Sciences is comprised of over 40 full time and part-time faculty members who support the teaching and research in the department. Graduate School supports research in the fundamental understanding of biology, which in turn helps our renowned faculty and talented students relate advances in knowledge to applications in clinical medicine, drug development, and industrial microbiology.

Training and research in the department range from general biology to more specialized fields of study and investigation. Quantitative aspects of biology are emphasized and molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, and cell biology are an essential part of the academic program. Courses are designed to give students a solid background in the physical sciences and an integrated scientific perspective. Students graduate from the KYU Department of Biological Sciences with the intellectual resources they need to assume leading roles in many areas, including research, teaching, and industry.

Pioneering collaborations

KYU biologists are deeply engaged in both fundamental research and its applications. The department promotes a highly collaborative environment that allows for a free exchange of ideas across research areas and academic disciplines. The result is a rigorous, creative, dynamic culture in which scientists and students tackle the important problems and questions in biology and related fields. Our location at the heart of one of the worldÔÇÖs most important biodiversity hot spots creates exciting opportunities for research, employment, and the commercialization of new discoveries. KYU is developing partnerships with Research Institutions that have modern research laboratories which are critical in conducting graduate research. The department is committed to a culture of inclusion and to promoting participation from diverse groups of students, staff and faculty. The technology platforms and interdisciplinary collaborations located at Kyambogo University are rare or even unique among peer institutions.

These interdisciplinary partnerships will result in innovative approaches to applied and basic research in areas of genetic diseases and cancer research, the human genome, infectious and neurodegenerative diseases.

Commitment to instruction and mentoring

A commitment to rigor and the highest standards of excellence is combined in equal measure with support and collegiality. Collaboration and communication skills are highly valued. Lecturers mentor graduate students and they, in turn, mentor undergraduate  students.

The KYU Biology graduate program is designed to teach students the research and communication skills essential to a distinguished career as an independent scientist. A majority of KYU Biology graduates advance to careers in universities, research institutions, or the biotech industry, and a growing number launch successful careers in consulting, science writing, technology transfer, and Agricultural Technology.

Program Structure

The KYU Biology graduate program is structured for students with widely diverse academic and research experience. During the first year, students acquire a deep foundation in the principles of modern biology and exposure to contemporary thinking in a wide range of fields through coursework and lab rotations. Beginning in the second year, students focus almost entirely on research and contribute to many of the significant scientific accomplishments of the department.

Throughout the academic year, the Department of Biological Sciences hosts distinguished researchers in many areas of biology, medicine, and related fields. Graduate students are encouraged to invite and host some of the speakers each year.

Broadening Participation

The KYU Department of Biological Sciences is strongly committed to promoting diversity and inclusion as one of its core missions.  We welcome and encourage talented individuals of all cultures, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, including individuals with disabilities, to apply to our graduate program. Our faculty value teaching and mentoring and are committed to providing a supportive, sensitive and inclusive environment for all students. The department runs multiple programs and activities to promote community building and to encourage open communication between students and faculty.

In addition to department level efforts, KYU has a number of partners, as well as substantial infrastructure, to support and serve a diverse student population with a spectrum of needs.

Microbiology Research

Microbiology research within the Department of Biology covers a wide range of topics. Some of this research exploits the sophisticated genetic, molecular biological, and biochemical systems available for microorganisms, to gain high-resolution insights into fundamental processes necessary for life and to manipulate microorganisms to achieve particular desired ends. Other components of this microbiological research in the department focus on understanding how aspects of microbial life cycle and life style permit them to survive their particular biological niches and to interact with their environment.

Research topics include: DNA replication; DNA repair and mutagenesis; mechanisms of transcription and translation; mechanisms of signal transduction, cell cycle, and cell-cell signaling; protein structure and function; protein folding and degradation; molecular chaperones; protein secretion; polysaccharide structure and function; microbial development; control of cell morphology and division; microbial interactions with eukaryotic hosts (symbiosis and pathogenesis); microbial ecology; metabolic engineering.

Research in genetics in this department employs a variety of organisms, ranging in complexity from bacteriophage to humans. Several groups are studying the process of transmission of genes by analyzing DNA replication, DNA repair, chromosome segregation and cell division.

The use of genetics to identify regulatory genes and to define biological mechanisms is a crucial tool in unraveling a myriad of biological problems. Among the processes being investigated via genetics by members of this department are aging, human genetic diseases, human spermatogenesis, cell death, neurobiology, developmental biology, protein processing and secretion, the cytoskeleton and cell architecture, and plant-bacterial communication.

Genetics Research

Research in genetics in this department employs a variety of organisms, ranging in complexity from bacteriophage to humans. Several groups are studying the process of transmission of genes by analyzing DNA replication, DNA repair, chromosome segregation and cell division.

The use of genetics to identify regulatory genes and to define biological mechanisms is a crucial tool in unraveling a myriad of biological problems. Among the processes being investigated via genetics by members of this department are aging, human genetic diseases, population genetics of different fish species and crop varieties including sweet potatoes, cassava, coffee, bananas and a variety of fruit crops.

The KYU Department of Biology is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion as one of its core missions.  We welcome and encourage talented individuals of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds and individuals with disabilities to participate in the DepartmentÔÇÖs research goals. We seek increased diversity at every level: undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty members and staff.  Our department values teaching and mentoring and is focused on providing a supportive, sensitive and tolerant environment for all of its members, regardless of their background and physical abilities. The department has put a number of programs in place to broaden participation.

 These programs include:

  • a 8-week  industrial training internship and school/college practice for undergraduate students .
  • a 7-day quantitative biology workshop for preparing students for research projects
  • hands-on activities for high school science teachers and their students
  • a  week -long research experience for biology teachers

These programs aim to help science teachers keep up with the latest developments in biological and biomedical sciences. By sharing its intellectual wealth, research output, teaching facilities, and technical expertise, the KYU Biology community and the KYU community at large hope to make important contributions to science education and the development of future scientists.

The challenges at the exciting frontier of human genetics are many. The sequencing of the human and mouse genomes facilitates research on several fronts. Our department is involved in the identification of genes involved in the etiology of numerous human diseases and cancers, and fundamental issues of developmental biology, such as aging and sex-determination.

Studies on the function of key genes, both at a molecular level and in an organismal context, are high priority. Among the approaches used in these studies are genetic and biochemical characterization of relevant gene products, and the use of model systems, such as mice and lower eukaryotes. Further, the field of genomics will allow us to address broad questions in genome organization, molecular evolution, and how genes interact to yield complex traits.

Explore the fascinating world of life on earth with a Biological Sciences degree

Discover the amazing natural world around us ÔÇÉ everything from how large ecosystems function to how the enzymes and proteins in your body interact.

Begin by developing your biological, mathematical and physical sciences knowledge ÔÇÉ then discover the diverse range of bacteria, fungi, plants and animals with whom we share our world.

We will assist you all the way on these practicallyÔÇÉbased courses

Learn to communicate the intricacies of biology in a simple and effective way by gaining handsÔÇÉon, practical experience through our laboratoryÔÇÉbased classes, fieldwork trips and exercises. You will also become part of a learning community that promotes an openÔÇÉdoor philosophy and integrated approach to learning ÔÇÉ designed to support you through each and every step of your journey with us.

Biological Sciences offer many diverse and rewarding career options

After your first year you will continue to learn about animal and plant diversity, microbiology, ecology, genetics and evolutionary biology, and biochemistry. Combining well with a number of other Science courses, you will also find Biology the perfect launching pad for a career in anything from molecular biology, plant and animal biology, to wildlife biology, where you could be helping to save endangered species.

As a leading science technology in biology department with strong industry partnerships and connections, we also make an ideal choice if you to plan on following a research career in any of these areas.

Key learning outcomes

  • Deep insight into the biological fields like molecular biology, genetics, genomics, cell biology, physiology, neurobiology and behavior, evolution, and ecology.
  • How to apply critical thinking, statistical analysis, data interpretation, and the communication of science to real-world applications.

Biology Graduate Programs are interdepartmental training programs in molecular and cellular biology. The faculty members are drawn from all of the basic science departments of the faculty of science and from many of Kyambogo University affiliated teaching hospitals and research institutions. The program has also incorporated faculty from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences as part of its effort to build new initiatives in graduate training.

The Biology  graduate research training is interdisciplinary, with a concentration in one or more of the following areas: biochemistry and proteomics, molecular and cell biology  and, computational biology, developmental biology, genetics and genomics, human biology and disease, immunobiology, microbial biology and pathogenesis, physiology and pharmacology. The methods and experimental approaches used to address questions within these areas range from the techniques of molecular biology, protein chemistry, cell biology and biophysics to those of molecular and developmental genetics.

Departmental Postgraduate and Programs Committee:

  1. Assoc. Prof. C.K.Twesigye          - Chairperson-            This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  2. Dr. N.M.Mutekanga                     -Member                    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  3. Dr. Robinah Dumba                   - Member-                   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  4. Dr. J.Otaala                               -Member-                   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  5. Dr. F.Mutekanga                        -Member-                    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  6. Santa Maria Asio                        -Member-                   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 Research and On-going work:

  1.  Community Based Conservation and Wildlife Management in Lake Mburo     National Park, Uganda (PI: Assoc. Prof. C.K.Twesigye).
  2.  Harvested rainwater in the Mokondo area and the use of SODIS to ensure the supply of safe drinking water in Uganda by R.Nalwanga.
  3.  Impact of Social Economic factors of the abundancy, effectiveness of Anophilide mosquitoes in spreading and prevalence of malaria in Kampala,Uganda. By Mr. S. Mugalu.
  4.  The Ecology and Production of Clarias Species in Relation to Land Use in  Mpologoma Wetland,Uganda By Ms G.Sanyu.


Print   Email