Dr. Walter Chingwaru

dr walter chingwaruDr. Walter Chingwaru – Chairperson / Senior Lecturer

Academic Profile

BSc Gen., BSc Hon. (University of Zimbabwe),

MSc Applied Microbiology (University of Botswana),

PhD Biomedicine (University of Maribor, Slovenia)

Contact Details

Department of Biological Sciences

FSE Building B03
E-mail: wchingwaru@buse.ac.zw; wchingwaru@yahoo.co.uk
Phone: +263713669091

Biography

Seeking Solutions to Biomedical Challenges of the 21st Century

Dr. Walter Chingwaru is the current Chairperson (Senior Lecturer) of Biological Sciences Department at BUSE. His research and teaching fall within the following broad areas: Microbiology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology and Pharmacognosy. He graduated with PhD in Biomedicine in 2011 at University of Maribor, Slovenia. His PhD research concerned the illucidation of health benefits (antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic and immunomodulatory activity) of Tylosema esculentum (marama) bean and tuber extracts using in vitro models. Marama is a plant that grows in the drier parts of Southern Africa. Concurrent with his PhD, (2006 – 2011), he was employed as an Independent Researcher (IR) in the Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences at University of Maribor. As an IR, he studied host-pathogen interactions under PathogenCombat – a collaborative project funded by the Framework 6 Programme of the European Union. While working as an IR, he was also an assistant lecturer within the fields of Microbiology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry. He also holds an MSc degree in Applied Microbiology, which he obtained from University of Botswana in 2001. Betweeen 2001 and 2006, he was employed in the Department of Biological Sciences at University of Botswana as a demonstrator. Between 2013 and 2014, he was enrolled as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Division of Molecular Biology and Human Genetics at Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa, where he studied molecular interactions between HIV and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In 2012, he was appointed as director of the Food and Biomedical Technology Institute at Scientific Industrial and Research Development Centre (SIRDC) in Harare, Zimbabwe. Over the years he has spearheaded a number of research initiatives and grant applications. He is currently a coordinator of a proposed MSc in Applied Microbiology and Plant Pathology degree

Despite his busy work schedule, he enjoys travel, and sharing time with his family and friends, and hiking.

Research interests

His research interests are within a multidisciplinary area that includes the following broad areas: host-pathogen interactions, bioactivity of natural products (including malaria research), bioenergy, bioremediation and cell biology.

His current research includes:

  • Wound healing properties of natural products: a collaborative project with colleagues at International Institute for Cannabinoids (ICANNA), Slovenia.
  • HIV Drug Discovery: a collaborative project with colleagues at University of Namibi
  • Validation of antimicrobial activities of African traditional phytomedicines.
  • Bioprospecting for probiotic microorganisms from Zimbabwean foods and environment
  • Characterisation and epidemiological prevalence of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli in Zimbabwe. Principal supervisor, DPhil project.
  • Plant microbe interactions in wastewater remediation. Secondary supervisor, DPhil project.
  • Molecular mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus. Principal supervisor, DPhil project.
  • Water and food safety and hygiene.

Courses offered

Microbiology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Readings in Biology, Microbial Biochemistry and Physiology, Food and Water Safety, Herbal Medicinal Products and Antimicrobial Drug Discovery, Plant Product Quality and Safety

Professional Memberships, Societies and Committees

  • International Society for NeuroVirology.
  • Slovenian Biochemical Society (Slovensko biokemijško društvo).
  • Slovenian Microbiological Society (Slovensko mikrobiološko društvo).
  • Member of the Higher Degrees Committee of the Bindura University of Science Education.
  • Member of the Research Committee of the Bindura University of Science Education.

Community engagement

  • Administered Maths and Science Olympiad, Mashonaland East Province (2016)
  • WASH Bindura – A water sanitation and hygiene project aimed to improve health in Bindura.
  • MUSHROOM Training and Consultancy – providing members of Mashonaland Central with skills in mushroom production.
  • A practicing Catholic.

Current research

  • Selection of Phytomedicines with Antimicrobial Activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and β-haemolytic streptococci in a Wound Model.
  • Wound healing properties of plant extracts in a rat model.
  • Characterisation and epidemiological prevalence of avian pathogenic E. coli isolated from broiler and layer chickens.
  • Plant microbe interactions in wastewater remediation.
  • Determination of antimicrobial activities of commonly used phytomedicines against enteropathogenic bacteria.
  • Methanogenesis research.

Research Profile

2 book chapters; 13 refereed research articles, 11 review articles and over 15 conference presentations.

H-Index: 10, i10-Index: 10,

Citations (July 2017): approx. 404: https://goo.gl/GVvsKs

Selected Bibliography

Original research

  1. Fonteh P., Chingwaru W., Meyer D., Kapewangolo P. (2019) In-vitro Assays for Determining Anti-HIV Potential of Phytochemicals. In: Kumar S., Egbuna C. (eds) Phytochemistry: An in-silico and in-vitro Update. Springer, Singapore.
  2. Chingwaru W. How to keep cholera, typhoid at bay post-Idai, The Herald, 23rd April 2019 (https://bit.ly/2DGRPDF)
  3. Chingwaru W. Letters to the editor: How to keep cholera and typhoid at bay in the post Cyclone Idai period, The Chronicle 23rd April 2019 (https://bit.ly/2GDKlmD)
  4. Chingwaru W. Why Zim’s biomedical scientists hail legalisation of marijuana, The Herald, 3rd May 2018 (https://goo.gl/FJEBmR).
  5. Chingwaru W. Why Zimbabwe’s biomedical scientists hail the legalisation of marijuana, The Chronicle, 3rd May 2018 (https://goo.gl/yUUi9P).
  6. Shikalepo R, Mukakalisa C, Kandawa-Schulz M, Chingwaru W, Kapewangolo P. 2017. In vitro anti-HIV and antioxidant potential of Bulbine frutescens (Asphodelaceae), Journal of Herbal Medicine, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hermed.2017.09.007.
  7. Chabwinja A, Tawonezvi A, Vidmar J, Chingwaru C, Chingwaru W (2017). Enriched cultures of lactic acid bacteria from selected Zimbabwean fermented food and medicinal products with great potential as therapy or prophylaxis against yeast infections. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease (in press). (SJR: 0.423), Elsevier.
  8. Shikalepo R, Mukakalisa C, Kandawa-Schulz M, Chingwaru W, Kapewangolo P. 2017. In vitro anti-HIV and antioxidant potential of Bulbine frutescens (Asphodelaceae), Journal of Herbal Medicine, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hermed.2017.09.007.
  9. Chabwinja A, Tawonezvi A, Vidmar J, Chingwaru C, Chingwaru W (2017). Enriched cultures of lactic acid bacteria from selected Zimbabwean fermented food and medicinal products with great potential as therapy or prophylaxis against yeast infections. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease (in press). (SJR: 0.423), Elsevier.
  10. Mbawa M, Vidmar J, Chingwaru C, Chingwaru W (2017). Understanding postpartum depression in adolescent mothers in Mashonaland Central and Bulawayo Provinces of Zimbabwe, Asian Journal of Psychiatry (in press), (SJR: 0.506), Elsevier.
  11. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J. 2017. Potential of Zimbabwean commercial probiotic products and strains of Lactobacillus plantarum as prophylaxis and therapy against diarrhoea caused by Escherichia coli in children, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, 10(1): 57-63, https://goo.gl/UfRGZW. (IF: 0.841), Elsevier.
  12. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J (2016). Prevalence, perceptions, and factors influencing the use of traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) in Zimbabwe’s adult population: The case of Bindura District. European Journal of Integrative Medicine. 8(4): 484-493. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/euijim.2016.03.007. (IF: 0.769), Elsevier.
  13. Aloisio I; Santini C; Biavati B; Dinelli G; Cencič A; Chingwaru W; Mogna L; Di Gioia D. 2012. Characterization of Bifidobacterium strains for the treatment of enteric disorders in Newborns, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 96(6):1561-1576 (IF: 3.811, 2013).
  14. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J (2016). A novel porcine cell culture based protocol for the propagation of hepatitis virus. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease. 6(8): 596-602. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2222-1808(16)61092-7. (SJR: 0.423), Elsevier.
  15. Mazimba O; Majinda R.R.T; Modibedi C; Masesane I.B; Cencič A; Chingwaru W. Tylosema esculentum extractives and their bioactivity, Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 2011, 19(17): 5225-5230 (IF: 2.951, 2014).
  16. Chingwaru W, Duodu G, van Zyl Y, Schoeman CJ, Majinda RT, Yeboah SO, Jackson J, Kapewangolo PT, Kandawa-Schulz M, Minnaar A, Cencic A. Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ethanolic and water crude extracts of Tylosema esculentum (marama) bean and tuber. South African Journal of Science. 2011;107(3/4),(Published, online). (IF: 1.031, 2014).
  17. Chingwaru W, Majinda RT, Yeboah SO, Malete J, Kapewangolo P, Kandawa-Schultz M, Cencic A. Marama (Tylosema esculentum) tuber and bean extracts are strong     antiviral agents against rotavirus infection. Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (ECAM), 2011. Published online 2011 February 20. doi: 10.1155/2011/284795. (IF: 2.175, 2014).
  18. Maragkoudakis PA, Chingwaru W, Gradisnik L, Tsakalidou E, Cencic A. 2010. Lactic acid bacteria efficiently protect human and animal intestinal epithelial and immune cells from enteric virus infection. Int J Food Microbiol.;141(Suppl 1): S91-97 (IF: 3.155, 2014).
  19. Nissen L, Chingwaru W, Sgorbati B, Bruno Biavati B, Cencic A. 2009. Gut health promoting activity of new putative probiotic/protective Lactobacillus spp. strains: A functional study in the small intestinal cell model, Int. J. Food Microbiol. 135: 288-294 (IF: 3.155, 2014).
  20. Chingwaru W, Mpuchane SF and Gashe BA. Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium isolates from milk, beef, and chicken and their antibiotic resistance, Journalof Food Protection Volume 66, Issue 6 (June 2003) pp. 931–936 (IF: 1.797, 2014).
  21. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J, Kapewangolo PT. 2015. The potential of sub‐saharan african plants in the management of human immunodeficiency virus infections: A review. Phytotherapy Research 29 (10), 1452-1487

Review articles

  1.  Shikalepo R, Mukakalisa C, Kandawa-Schulz M, Chingwaru W, Kapewangolo P. 2017. In vitro anti-HIV and antioxidant potential of Bulbine frutescens (Asphodelaceae), Journal of Herbal Medicine, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hermed.2017.09.007.
  2. Alufasi R, Gere J, Chakauya E, Lebea P, Parawira W, Chingwaru W (2017). Mechanisms of Pathogen Removal by Macrophytes in Constructed Wetlands. A Review, Environmental Technology Reviews. 6(1): 135-144. Taylor and Francis Online. https://goo.gl/QHEEep.
  3. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J, Chingwaru C (2017). Biotechnology offers great potential for metal extraction in Zimbabwe: A Review, Journal- South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 117(4), (IF: 0.13) SCIELO. https://goo.gl/jsJ8y4.
  4. Vidmar J, Chingwaru C, Chingwaru W. 2017. Mammalian cell models to advance our understanding of wound healing – A review, Journal of Surgical Research, 210: 269 – 280, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jss.2016.10.016. (IF: 2.076), Wiley.
  5. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J. 2016. Thirty years on with an HIV epidemic in Zimbabwe (1985 to 2015), Published: AIDS Reviews, 15(1): 26-32, (IF: 0.00).
  6. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J, Kapewangolo PT, Glasshoff R, Sampson SL. 2016. Applications of mammalian cell models in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) co-infection studies: A review, Published: Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, 9(9):832-8. doi:10.1016/j.apjtm.2016.07.002. (IF: 0.841), Elsevier.
  7. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J. 2016. Culture, Myths and Panic: Three Decades with a Generalised HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Zimbabwe and Beyond, Published: Global Public Health, (IF: 1.205), Taylor & Francis Online. 1-16. 11:1-16. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2016.1215485.
  8. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J, Kapewangolo PT, Mazimba O, Jackson J. 2015. Therapeutic and Prophylactic Potential of Morama (Tylosema esculentum): A Review. Phytotherapy Research, 29(10):1423-38. (IF: 2.397), Wiley.
  9. Chingwaru W, Vidmar J, Kapewangolo PT. 2015. The potential of Southern African plants in the management of HIV infections, Phytotherapy Research, 29(10):1452-87. (IF: 2.397), Wiley.
  10. Cencic A, Chingwaru W, Antimicrobial Agents Deriving from Indigenous Plants, 2010, Recent Patents on Food, Nutrition & Agriculture, 2010, Vol 2, No 1, pp. 83-92.
  11. Cencic A, Chingwaru W, Micovic E. 2011. Use of dietary supplements against malnutrition – opportunity for healthier living?, Nutritional Therapy & Metabolism, 1(29): 30 – 46.
  12. Cencic A, Chingwaru W. 2010. The Role of Functional Foods, Nutraceuticals, and Food Supplements in Intestinal Health, Nutrients 2(6), 611-625 (IF: 3.759).

Book chapters

  1. Jackson JC, Duodu KG, Holse M, Lima de Faria MD, Jordaan D, Chingwaru W, Hansen A, Cencic A, Kandawa-Schultz M, Mpotokwane SM, Chimwamurombe P, de Kock HL,     Minnaar A. 2010. The Morama Bean (Tylosema esculentum): A Potential Crop for Southern Africa, Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, Volume 61, 2010, Chapter 5, Pages 187-246.
  2. Cencic A, Chingwaru W. 2010. Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) – An Emerging Viral Pathogen, edited by Magni V. Detection of Bacteria, Viruses, Parasites and Fungi, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series, Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Short Communication

  1. Chingwaru W, Faria ML, Saravia C and A Cencic, 2007. Indigenous knowledge of Health Benefits of morama plant among respondents in Ghantsi and Jwaneng of Botswana, African Journal of Food Agriculture Nutrition and Development, 7(6), A commentary.

Awards, Grants and Scholarships

  1. Vice Chancellor’s Publisher of the Year (2016) Award (A Travel Grant) (total amount awarded: USD2500.00.
  2. Travel grant to present a poster at Gillings Institute of Global Public Health, The Water Institute, University of North Carolina, USA, 10 – 14th October 2016 (total amount awarded: USD3000.00).
  3. NRF – SARChI Postdoctoral Fellowship, and Rector’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stellenbosch University (2013 – 2014) (total amount awarded: R250 000 / approx. $31 000).
  4. NRF Innovation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stellenbosch University (2014 – 2016) (total amount awarded: R350 000.00 / $22 000).
  5. Harry Crossely Foundation Research Grant (R20 000 (total amount awarded: $2 000), Stellenbosch University (2014 – 2015).
  6. European Union (FP6) PhD Tuition and Research Grants: Marama II and PathogenCombat (2006 – 2011).
  7. Belgian MSc Tuition Scholarship (University of Botswana, 1998 – 2000).