Fredirick L. Mashili (MD, PhD), a senior lecturer in medicine and currently a celebrated exercise physiologist at the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), is an alumnus of the University of Dar es Salaam – of the graduating class of 2003. Having done and passed his ordinary and advanced secondary school science subjects--notably biology, chemistry and physics by 1997--he was, in September 1998, admitted to the University of Dar es Salaam at what was then Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences (MUCHS), for a five-year undergraduate course programme. He completed the programme in September 2003.
On successful completion of his undergraduate study, he was retained by the College as a Tutorial Assistant on a staff-development programme pending enrolment for specialist postgraduate training and securing confirmation for a permanent staff member. He served in that position for some four years until September 2007, when he obtained a scholarship for a PhD study programme at Karolinska Institutet, a research-led medical university in Stockholm, Sweden and one of the world-famous medical schools in the world. In his doctoral research programme at Karolinska, he focused on endocrinology and exercise physiology, with special attention to obesity, diabetes and exercise physiology – some of the rare yet critical health issues that face humans in modern civilisation. He pursued these health issues in his research, writing and defending his thesis on these, and finally receiving his PhD in November 2012.
Since his return from PhD study abroad, Fredirick, has taken on a number of tasks and responsibilities. Besides classroom teaching, he has served as senior scientist and chair (head) of the Department of Physiology. He has led or else organised research programmes and projects in his department and has planned or else organised research dissemination workshops and symposia, as well as encouraged research-based publication series. He was invited to the position of visiting scholar on the Bernard Lown Scholarship in cardiovascular health, subsequently assuming the role of part-time principal investigator since 2015. Since September 2021, he has served as full-time senior researcher and consultant in the Bernard Lown cardiovascular health research programme of Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. His commitment to the desire to eradicate public-health hazards that are often caused by ‘lifestyle’ habits is clearly appreciated from statements he has frequently granted in interviews:
I am interested in exploring the determinants of wellness and ill-health, especially focusing on understanding the lifestyle environment interactions on cardiovascular health. My long-term goal is to contribute in saving lives by developing cost-effective disease prevention strategies and [to] work with policy makers as well as the community to create [a] health-friendly environment.
Dr. Mashili has quite a few research-based works and, with most of them, of practical utility to the everyday life and functionality of individuals, such as the seemingly sedentary white-collar office employees, the restaurant junk-food lovers and the like. Two of the works he has produced¾solely or with others¾include the following:
The University of Dar es Salaam is happy with his research projects, which obviously go a long way to inform his classroom teaching, his consultancies and his field practice in various orientation and practical training programmes for his staff fellows and the wider public.