Former PhD Students in Zimbabwe

MD PhD Elisabeth Mukuze Mbizvo, Women’s reproductive Health and HIV: Seizing the opportunity.
Oslo University December 22, 2005
Dr.Phil Edith Nyaradzai, † 2013,  PMTCT of HIV: Realities and challenges of following up mother and child pairs over 5 years in Zimbabwe.
Oslo University December 7, 2010
Dr. Phil Marshall W Munjoba, Incidence, prevalence and risk factors of HSV and HIV infections among Zimbabwean women recruited in pregnancy and followed up for 6 years after childbirth.
Oslo University December 16, 2010
Dr. FZ Gumbo Felicity, Mother to Child HIV transmission in Zimbabwe.
University of Oslo October 2012
Dr. K Duri, HIV diversity among pregnant women and their infants in Harare Peri urban: Implications in disease diagnosis, monitoring and transmission.
University of Oslo Jan 2013
Dr. MD. G, Q Kandawasvika: Neurodevelopment and growth among peri urban Zimbabwean 6-8 year old children from a high prevalence HIV community.
MD. P Kuona is a junior Lecturer in the department of Pediatrics and Child Health at the College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe.
The topic of her research proposal is: The burden of Malnutrition from birth in 7-9 year old children born to mothers recuited from a PMTCT programme in Zimbabwe.
Agnes Farai Nhidza is a PhD Medical Microbiology student registered with the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her area of interest is ‘Enteric pathogens and gut microbiome, relating to how they influence immune response in HIV pregnant mothers and their HIV exposed uninfected neonates as compared to the HIV unexposed counterparts’.
Rutendo B.L. Zinyama-Gutsire
Rutendo B.L. Zinyama-Gutsire is a registered as a PhD candidate at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa 2012 to 2013 under Letten Foundation Research Centre. She is currently employed as a Senior Compliance Officer with the Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe, Ministry of Health. Rutendo holds a Masters Degree in Biotechnology from the University of Zimbabwe, Masters in Public Health and a Diploma in Clinical Trials both from London University. Her research project title is ‘Mannose Binding Lectin Genetic Polymorphism: Association with HIV-1 Transmission and Disease Progression in Adult and Paediatric Cohorts in Zimbabwe’.
Ms Danai Tavonga Zhou is a Phd student under Letten Foundation sponsorship. She is a Lecturer of Basic and Clinical Biochemistry at the University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences. She holds a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Applied Biology and Biochemistry (National University Science and Technology, Zimbabwe) and a Master of Science degree in Clinical Biochemistry (University of Zimbabwe, College of Health Sciences), Faculty of Medicine. Her doctorate research area of interest is antiretroviral therapy complications with emphasis on cardiovascular disease risk and drug resistance in Zimbabwe.
Mr. Kudakwashe Mhandire, is a former master student with Letten Foundation Research Centre. His masters studies gave way to his first publication as core author entitled: ‘How does Mother to Child Transmission differ among African populations? Lessons from MBL2 genetic variations in Zimbabweans. Kudakwashe is now a Phd fellow under Letten Foundation Research Centre funding, with his research title entitled: HIV Genetic Diversity in Viral Monitoring and use of Serum Biomarkers in Diagnosis of Liver damage among HIV/HBV Co infected Adults in Harare.
Racheal S Mandishona is a PhD student registered with the University of Zimbabwe College of Health sciences, From 2014-2017. Her research project title is ‘Molecular characterisation and diversity of Human papilloma virus in women from Zimbabwe‘. She holds a Master of science degree in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology (NUST 2011-2013) and an Honours Degree in Medical laboratory sciences (UZ 2003-2007).

Ongoing PhD Students in Zimbabwe

Elizabeth Gori
Elizabeth Gori is a new PhD student with Letten Foundation Research Centre. She hold a MSc in Biotechnology. Her research title is, ‘Cytokine Gene Polymorphisms in HIV and Cardiovascular Diseases. Her area of interest is in understanding molecular pathology underlying infectious and non communicable diseases.
Benjamin Chimukanga is a PhD fellow with Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies. He is a research scientist in the field of molecular virology. His current research interests are in investigating the clinical implications of HIV-1 minority variants on treatment outcomes, HIV molecular evolution, bioinformatics data analysis as well as phylogenetics.
Jennifer T. Muderedzi is a PhD student with Letten Foundation. She is a Health Services Board member since January 2011 up to date. Prior to that she was a full time University of Zimbabwe lecturer at the College of Health Sciences as a Psychosocial Occupational Therapy lecturer in the department of Rehabilitation. Jennifer is also an OT and Rehabilitation consultant; a counselor and a health researcher.
Jennifer T Muderedzi key skills include research in Family coping; Disability and poverty; Cross cultural perspectives on disability and HIV and Gender studies.
Tsungai Reid is a PhD student with the University of Zimbabwe. Tsungai is interested in ‘Isolation and characterisation of extracts from wild edible and non edible mushrooms in Zimbabwe’.
Mr. M P Mapingure is a PhD student registered with the University of Oslo, Norway [2008- 2012]. His PhD title is ‘A modelling study of differences in HIV-1 prevalence between Zimbabwe and Tanzania’. Munyaradzi assists LFRC colleagues with data analysis and interpretation. He has co-authored 18 scientific articles at LFRC and he is first author to one of the articles. He has also co-authored 5 articles from other research activities, thus he appears on a total of 23 scientific articles. His career path has seen him working as a Lecturer in the Department of Community Medicine, University of Zimbabwe and an Epidemiologist at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Muchaneta Gudza-Mugabe is a registered as a PhD candidate at the University of Cape Town, Capetown, South Africa 2016-2018 under Letten Foundation Research Centre. She is currently employed as a Senior Medical Laboratory Scientist at the National Microbiology Reference Laboratory Zimbabwe, Ministry of Health and Child Care. Muchaneta holds a Master’s Degree in Medical Microbiology from the University of Zimbabwe, Diploma in Medical laboratory sciences, BeD Degree specializing in biology from Jose Varona University Cuba. Her research project title is ‘Diversity of vaginal microbiota associated with bacterial vaginosis and the impact on pregnancy outcomes in HIV-infected and uninfected women`.
Mr. Tinashe Mudzviti is a PhD fellow with Letten Foundation Research Centre. He is a research pharmacist by profession and holds a Master of Philosophy degree in Medicine. The title of his thesis is, ‘Utility of antiretroviral levels in hair to quantify exposure and adherence to protease inhibitors in Zimbabwean adolescents on antiretroviral therapy’. He has completed three post graduate training fellowships with University at Buffalo (USA) that have contributed to his ability to conduct clinical pharmacology research.
Bernard Ngara is a holder of a BSc. Mathematics & Statistics; MSc. Biostatistics; currently studying PhD at University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimabwe. My PhD work is focused on mathematical modelling, specifically working on “improved pharmacometric methods for drug development and use”. Specialist in research design and analysis of data using a variety of computer software technology. Contact details: +263 77 6 971 400 or
Mr. Oscar Tapera is a PhD,Health Systems student at the University of Pretoria,School of Health Systems and Public Health. His thesis is entitled: “Equity in access and utilization of cervical cancer treatment and palliation services in Harare,Zimbabwe”. He is a public health researcher and he holds a BSc (Hons) in Medical Laboratory Sciences (University of Zimbabwe), an MSc in Development Studies (Women’s University in Africa) and MSc in Biostatistics and Epidemiology (Midlands State University). He has interests in global health, public health (epidemiology of communicable and non-communicable diseases, child and maternal health), impact evaluation of health interventions, health policy, health systems strengthening, and social determinants of health particularly in developing countries.
Monalisa Manhanzva is a PhD student at Cape Town University interested in “Characterization of the HIV inhibitory activity of Lactobacillus isolates from South African women towards the development of a vaginal probiotic to improve genital health and reduce HIV acquisition risk in this population”.
Marie- France Baron Bonarjee is a PhD student at the University of Western Cape in South Africa. Her area of research is ‘The impact of external hypermarket chains on peasant agriculture and food production in Zimbabwe – a gendered study’.
Thenjiwe Sisimayi is a PhD student with the University of Walden University. Her area of research is ‘Maternal Depression and Socioeconomic Factors Associated with Morbidity and Mortality among in HIV Exposed Uninfected (HEU) Infants’.
Joconiah Chirenda is a PhD student at Stellenbosch University. His area of research is ‘Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (MTB) Transmission Associated with Migration in Zimbabwe’.
Alltalents Murahwa is a PhD student with the University of Cape Town. His area of research is ‘Characterization of genital human papillomaviruses in HIV-1 concordant and discordant heterosexual couples’.
Doreen Mhandire is a PhD student with at the University of Cape Town. Doreen’s area of research is ‘Role of HIV/AIDS Status and Host Genetic Susceptibility to Vertical Transmission of Cytomegalovirus Infection in Mother-Infant Pairs’.
Nikhat Zia is a PhD student with the University of Zimbabwe. Her area of research is, ‘Performance of 16 as a biomarker for High- Grade squamous intraepithelian (CIN2/3) lesion in HIV positive and negative Zimbabwean women infected with oncogenic HPV’.
Auxilia Kawara Mazhambe is the Office manager at Letten Foundation and currently studying a Doctorate in Business Leadership with the University of South Africa. Her area of research is ‘Survival Strategies of Commercial Banks in a Harsh Macro Environment. A Case of Commercial Banks in Zimbabwe’.
Vitaris Kodogo is a PhD student with University of Cape Town under Letten funding. His research title is ‘Cardiac remodelling in normal and subsequent pregnancy, providing an insight on Peripartum Cardiomyopathy”
Tapfumanei Mashe is a PhD student with the University of Pretoria. His area of research is ‘Genomic characterisation of Salmonella enterica from environmental, animal, food and human sources in Zimbabwe’
Faustionos Tatenda Takawira is a PhD student with University of Pretoria. His studies are on ‘Whole genome molecular epidemiology of E. coli isolates from humans, food and the environment in Zimbabwe’.

Former Master Students in Zimbabwe

Thenjiwe Masuku. Zim. Psychologist: Living with HIV. Coping with seroconversion.
University of Zimbabwe 2011
White Soko. Zim. virologist: Host genetic factors to HIV infection among pregnant women and their role in vertical transmission in Harare, Zimbabwe.
University of Western Cape, South Africa 2010
Gwendoline Kandawasvika. Neurodevelopment outcomes at preschool age. A 5 years follow up study of a cohort born to mothers participating in the PMTCT program in Harare Zimbabwe. M Phil. UiO June 2008.
Marshall W Munjoma, Zimbabwe: Simple method for the detection of bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women.
M Phil. UiO June 2004.
Nyaradzai Edith Kurewa, † 2013,  Zimbabwe: Quality of life and coping styles of HIV positive compared to HIV negative women in Zimbabwe. Participating in the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV program”. UiO June 2004.
Elisabeth Mbizvo, Zimbabwe: Women and STI/HIV in Zimbabwe. UiO June 2000.
Ms. Z Matsena, Cytokine levels in HIV exposed uninfected infants.
University of Zimbabwe 2012
Mr. I Chitungo, Association of serum myleloperoxida serum levels with traditional risk factors of cardiovascular disease in HIv infected populations.
University of Zimbabwe 2012
Mr. Kudakwashe Mhandire, HIV and neurocognitive development in HIV exposed children, focusing on the role that HIV restriction genes might play in this functional aspect.
Cape Town University 2012
Ms. Grace Mashavave: Determination of Omega 3 Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids LCPFA status in school going children (7-9 years) in Zimbabwe, using Dried Blood spots.
University of Zimbabwe 2013
Ms. Mufarowashe G Masanganise: Contraceptive use among women focusing on their unmet needs.
University of South Africa 2013
Brenda Nherera: Evaluation of serum biomarkers in the assessment of liver damage in HIV/HBV co-infected adults in Harare.
University of Zimbabwe 2015
Ms. Bernadette Jani: The influence of cytokines and broadly neutralising antibodies on inflammation in HIV pathogenesis.
University of Zimbabwe 2015
Vitaris Kodogo
Vitaris Kodogo: The frequency of DNA polymorphisms of the ApoB gene and their association with HAART related dyslipidemia in a cohort of adult Zimbabweans’
University of Zimbabwe 2016
Takudzwa Matuvhunye: Detection and Identification of HPV genotypes in women reporting at Parirenyatwa VIA Clinic using consensus nested-PCR and DNA sequencing’.
National University of Science and technology: 2015
Tapfumanei Mashe Characterization of clinical Salmonella Typhi isolates, using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), virulence genes and antibiotic resistance profiles from 2012-2016’.
National University of Science and Technology, 2017.
Faustinos Tatenda Takawira is a final year Master student at National Science of Technology (NUST). His area of research is, ‘Investigation and detection of drug resistance related mutations in multidrug resistant mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates missed by GeneXpert and Hain molecular assay in Zimbabwe’.
Lynnette Chilala Mukonka is a final year MSc Nursing Science student at University of Zimbabwe. Lynnete holds BSc Nursing Science (ZOU), Diploma in Operating Theatre Nursing and General Nursing. Her research topic is ‘factors related to non-adherence to lifestyle modification in patients with diabetes mellitus type 2 attending diabetic clinic at Harare Central Hospital’.
Richwell Mhlanga is a final year Master student at National University of Science and technology. His area of research is ‘Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) of the PCSK9 and LDL-receptor genes in relation to dyslipidaemia in HIV infected patients in Zimbabwe’.
Josephine Nyamupfukudza is a final year Master student with the University of Zimbabwe. Josephine is interested in ‘The relationship of safe conception to knowledge, attitude and practices of HIV positive women of reproductive age (18-49 years) attending Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals Opportunistic infections Clinic, Harare Metropolitan Province’.
Sheila Chimbetete. Association between maternal comorbidities and prevalence of preterm births by gestational age. A descriptive correlational study.
University of Zimbabwe 2017
Mary Musvipa. Relationship between knowledge of PMTCT and perceived adherence to PMTCT test and treatment among HIV positive pregnant women at Parirenyatwa group of hospitals.
University of Zimbabwe 2017
Auxilia Kawara Mazhambe. An Assessment of the Contribution of Street Vendors in Harare, Central Business District (CBD), Zimbabwe.
Management College of Southern Africa 2017
Kudakwashe Kakurira. Characterisation of clinical shigella isolates using speciation and anti-microbial resistance profiles in Zimbabwe.
National University of Science and technology 2017
Lilian Kufakunesu. The risk of preconception stress and its association with preterm births and low birth weight among postnatal women at Masvingo Hospital.
University of Zimbabwe 2018
Precious Shumba. Lived experiences of inmate mothers regarding the quality of care of their children who reside with them at Chikurubi female prison, Zimbabwe.
University of Zimbabwe 2018

Ongoing Master Students in Zimbabwe

Tutsirai Victoria Musingwini-Hwati is an MPhil student registered with the University of Zimbabwe under Letten Foundation funding. She holds a Bachelor of Technology Honours degree in Biotechnology from Chinhoyi University of Technology. Her MPhil research title is “Determination of Pol Gene Polymorphisms in the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, type 1C infection”. The study involves determining polymorphisms in the HIV viral genome, which render it with resistance to ARV treatment.
Mathius Dzobo is a final year Master student with National University of Science and technology. His research title is “Methylation Patterns of CpG sites in the genome of High-Risk HPV Types in Cervical Precancer and Cancer: Is there an Association between the Degree of Methylation and Severity of Cervical Neoplasia?”
Rugare Gilson Mandigo holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree (MBCHB) from University of Zimbabwe. He is a second year Masters in Public Health (MPH) student at Wits University (South Africa) under Letten Research Centre sponsorship. He works for Population Services International as a Clinical Supervisor. Before joining PSI, he worked for Ministry of Health and Child Care as a Government Medical Officer. His research title is ‘Comparing risky sexual behavior between circumcised and uncircumcised men in Zimbabwe’.
Terence Black is being funded by Letten Foundation for his Masters studies at Africa University. His area of study is, ‘Prevalence, severity, type and risk factors of anaemia among pregnant women attending Mutare, General Hospital’.
Mr. Russell Kanyera is a Molecular Biologist with the incoming research group on HPV.
He is in his first year Mphil with the University of ZimbabweHis research title is: Investigating Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infections of genital and cutaneous sites among female patients presenting Ocular Surface Squamos Neoplasia (OSSN).
Christopher Solopa is doing his Masters studies with the Africa University. His area of research is on, ‘Prevalence of HIV drug resistance among adolescents in Mashonaland West Province, Zimbabwe’.
Priviledge Munjoma is a final year student with the University of Zimbabwe in the department of Chemical Pathology. His research interest is on ‘Immune activation and inflammation profiles among pregnant women co-infected with cytomegalovirus in a high HIV prevalence setting.”
Muchineripi Kanengoni is a Master student with the University of Great Zimbabwe. His research interests are on:’ Determining the Relationship between Male Alcohol Use and Support provision to Female Partners During and After Pregnancy in Chitungwiza’.