Peter Wasswa

Researcher on Virus Diagnostics CAEC

Makerere University


Dr. Peter Wasswa has a PhD in Plant Virology [Molecular Biology] acquired from the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, UK in the year 2012. He has an MSc. degree in Plant Biotechnology, obtained from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Peter has over 10 years of research experience and expertise with a range of multidisciplinary skills in plant viruses (Geminiviruses, Potyviruses and Ipomoviruses) infecting cassava and sweet potato and plant pests (cassava and sweetpotato whiteflies and aphids). His specific skills are in; serology, PCR, real time (quantitative) PCR, DNA cloning, sequencing, deep sequencing, tissue culture, thermotherapy, surveys and field trials. He also has research experience in resistance genes (against diseases, pests and stress) and their heritability in crops.

Peter is passionate at exploiting tools and products in agriculture that can contribute to solutions for threats to food security and social economic transformation among resource poor farmers. As a result, he has managed and been involved in various projects, some of them including;

Principal Investigator, PEARL Project: Sustaining sweetpotato productivity through exploiting reversion from sweetpotato virus infections. Sept, 2014 – Sept, 2019. Funded by the MBGF.

Collaborator, RUFORUM CARP+ PROJECT, “Making Potato Value Chain Vibrant and Enhance Productivity and Incomes in Uganda” Feb 2018 – Jan 2021.

Collaborator, RUFORUM CARP+ PROJECT, “Capacity building for micro propagation and certification of cassava planting materials to enhance productivity, incomes and food security and nutrition for small holder farmers in coastal Kenya,”  Feb 2018 – Jan 2021.

Activity leader, Bioinnovate Project, “Integrating ICT in commercial production of tissue culture based quality sweetpotato planting materials in East Africa,” Jan 2018 – Dec 2020.

Over the last 7 years, peter has taught both undergraduate and postgraduate courses including Genetics, Plant Biotechnology, Plant tissue culture, and Plant virology. He has supervised to completion 5 MSc student theses. Currently he supervises 6 MSc students and 3 PhD students.

Peter is a member of the Institutional Biosafety Committee – with the National Agricultural Research Organization and he is also the current Chairperson of the Uganda Biotechnology and Biosafety Consortium.