Researcher Profiles

Comprehensive Database of all UZ leading Research and Innovation endeavors

Prof. Christopher James Chetsanga


BSc degree , University of California, Berkeley and Pepperdine University, USA, 1965; MSc and PhD degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Toronto, Canada, 1965-1969; Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard University, 1969-1972.

Academic Appointments:


Research Interests:

Microbial ecology, nutrition composition of indigenous fruits, drug-drug interaction, DNA damage and repair/Carcinogenesis.

Faculty: Science
Department: Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Research Category: Bioscience

Professor Chetsanga joined the Biochemistry Department in 1983 as a Senior Lecturer. Previously, he worked at the University of Michigan as a Full Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is interested in research focused on chemical carcinogenesis. This involves an analysis of both DNA damage caused by chemical carcinogens and enzymology of the damage repair. Professor Chetsanga has retired from active research activities.

Phone: +263 242 303211

1. Chetsanga C J, Nanotechnology in health sciences. Emerging Technologies: Nanotechnology for Equitable Development. Conference Organised by the University of California – Santa Barbara and Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars. Washington DC, USA. November 4-6 2009.
2. Chetsanga C J; and Frenette G P; (1983). Excision of aflatoxin B1-imidazole ring opened guanine from DNA by formamidopyrimidine- DNA glycosylase. Carcinogenesis 4:997-1000.
3. Chetsanga C J; Malmstrom P A; Gyllensten U; Moreno-Lopez J; Dintzer Z; and Pettersson U; (1992). Low incidence of human papilloma virus type 16 DNA in bladder tumour detected by the polymerase chain reaction. Cancer 69: 1208-1211.
4. Chetsanga C J; Pettersson B; Pettersson U; Gyllensten U; (1991). Detection of human papilloma virus DNA by the polymerase chain reaction. Intl. J. Gynecological Cancer, 1:209-213.
5. Chetsanga C J and Mavunga I; (1986). Mechanisms of Chemical Reclosure of Opened Imidazole Ring of Guanine. Chemical-Biological Interactions 58:117-121.
6. Chetsanga C J; and Grigorian C; (1983). A dose-response study on opening of the imidazole ring of adenine in DNA by ionising radiation. International J.of Radiation Biol. 44:321-331.
7. Chetsanga C J; and Lindahl T; (1979). Release of 7-methylguanine residues whose imidazole rings have been opened from damaged DNA by a DNA glycosylase from E.coli. Nucleic Acid Research 6:3673-3684.
8. Chetsanga C J; Novetsky J; and Dimino M J; (1976c). Properties of rat liver mitochondrial RNA Polymerase. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 13:147-156.
9. Chetsanga C J: Boyd V; Peterson L; and Rushlow K; (1975). Single stranded regions in DNA of old mice. Nature 253:130.
10. Chetsanga C.J; Poccia D L; Hill R J; and Doly P; (1970). Stage-related transcription in sea urchin embryos and their chromatins. Cold Spring Harbour Symp. Quant, Biol. 35:629-635.

Patented Work:

Grants & Funding (current and Past projects):

Awards & Achievements:

Discovered two enzymes involved in the repair of damaged DNA:
1. Formamidopyrimidine DNA Glycosylase, which removes damaged 7-methylguanine from DNA (1979).
2. DNA cyclase, which recloses imidazole rings of guanine and adenine damaged by x-irradiation (1985).
3. President’s Award for Distinguished Contribution to Science and Technology (1990);
4. Honorary D.Sc. degrees (2000, 2010).

Consultancy and advisory work (current and past):

Supervision information (MPhil, DPhil, etc.):

Professional membership, Committees, Boards:

1. Active research council Promote Clean Environment, Harare, Zimbabwe, 1990.
2. Fellow African Academy of Sciences, 3d World Academy of Sciences.
3. Member Bio-chemical Society Zimbabwe, American Society Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

External Profile Links (Google Scholar, ResearchGate, LinkedIn, other social media links):

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