2011 Borlaug LEAP fellow Dr. Barbara Zawedde is currently the Senior Knowledge Management and Biosafety Officer of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) of Uganda. and coordinates activities for Uganda Biosciences Information Center (UBIC), a NARO knowledge and information sharing hub for a biotechnology and biosafety. She also teaches Biosafety, Biopolicy and Bioethics, and Science Communication to university students. She completed her PhD in Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology with a doctoral specialization in Environmental Science and Policy at Michigan State University in June 2013. Her PhD dissertation was entitled, Environmental risk assessment and risk communication for introduction of genetically engineered sweet potato in Uganda. Dr. Zawedde showed that with effective risk assessment and risk communication, certain products of advanced technologies, such as modern biotechnology, can be integrated into existing agricultural systems to increase productivity for resource-poor farmers without causing any unique risks to the environment.
Dr. Zawedde began her Borlaug LEAP Fellowship in the fall of 2011 and was mentored by Professors Rebecca Grumet, James Hancock and Harris Craig of Michigan State University, and Dr. Marc Ghislain of the International Potato Center (CIP).
Dr. Zawedde is glad to be contributing to: putting in place appropriate policies, capacity building for biosafety compliance, and science communication to promote adoption of relevant and efficient tools for agricultural advancement in Uganda, and Africa in general.