The Biomedical Sciences Department is the largest department of the Tropical Diseases Research Centre and conducts basic science research. Additionally, the department carries out clinical and epidemiological research through the support it renders to the Clinical Sciences and Public Health Departments. The department also provides training for both local and international health and scientific personnel in health research at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The Department has also been instrumental in the implementation of nationwide HIV, TB and malaria surveillance programs aimed at providing data for evidenced-based policy-making to the Ministry of Health.
The department is composed of five main Units namely: Clinical Microbiology; Tuberculosis; Immunology-Haematology; Vector Biology-Parasitology; Molecular Biology and Clinical Chemistry-Nutrition.
For TDRC to execute its mandate effectively in both laboratory-based research and public health programming, a well-trained staff, necessary laboratory equipment and improved laboratory infrastructure are essential. The department has in place a system to ensure that it meets the technical competence requirements of the laboratory work through a quality management system. In this regard, the Centre has from 2019 been maintaining the ISO 15189 accreditation standard for medical laboratories through the Southern African Development Community Accreditation Service (SADCAS).