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3 Questions with Fredirick Mashili

KI Alumnus: Fredirick Mashili

Degree: PhD, FYFA, December 2012

Current profession: Researcher, lecturer and physician at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) and Bernard Lown Junior visiting scholar, Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health. In all of his roles, Fredirick works to promote the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle in Tanzania.

Home: Upanga, Dar es salaam, Tanzania

Why did you choose KI?

After completing medical school in Tanzania, I knew I wanted to attain a PhD, particularly in the area of diabetes and insulin signalling. I had prior knowledge that KI was one of the best universities in biomedical and health sciences. Also, that Sweden - and specifically Stockholm- was a great place to live. Thus far, my time at KI was the best learning experience I have ever had. I enjoyed the fact that studies were in parallel with other life experiences. I highly appreciated working with people of diverse backgrounds in terms of knowledge and origin. My best memory from KI is my defense day. The day brought together extensive preparations, amazing feelings of achievement, loving friends, great mentors and a great happy dinner party on a cold winter day.

What career path have you taken following graduation from KI?

My family and I returned to our home in Tanzania, and I took a position at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS). Today, I balance my time between research, teaching and clinical work. Since public health issues are very important in my country, I have narrowed my focus to public health research on physical activity and cardiovascular diseases. I just received a grant from GSK to study the pathophysiology and microbiology of diabetic foot ulcers in an African setting.

Are you involved at KI today?

I am very much involved with KI. I am currently writing a manuscript with my KI supervisors on a project that I began in Stockholm, but have continued in Tanzania. My collaboration to KI has been extremely beneficial for my research success. In the aforementioned project on diabetic foot ulcers, I will collaborate with researchers from KI. I am also working with another research group at KI on a project that is funded by Sida, which aims at preventing road traffic accidents and promoting active commuting in Tanzania.

Photo: Fredirick Mashili recently traveled to India as part of his fellowship with Harvard to explore the public health system there.