Dr Deckster Tonny Savadye is the Director of the Biotechnology Research Institute at SIRDC. He is a product of the University of Zimbabwe where he graduated with a B Sc degree in Biological Science, M Sc degree in Biotechnology and a D Phil degree in Science.
As part of his doctoral studies, Dr Savadye conducted research work at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) based in Nairobi, Kenya, where he was attached as a Graduate Fellow.
His research focused on the analysis of the genome of Theileria parva, the causative agent of cattle theileriosis. In addition to discovering several genes for the parasite, Dr Savadye notably discovered and sequenced the interleukin 16 (IL16) gene of Bos Taurus.
The discovery of this gene has since led to the sequencing of the human homologue used as an immune modulator in the treatment of HIV.
Dr Savadye worked on the USAID funded Heartwater Research Project for SADC where he was responsible for developing heartwater diagnostic methods and recombinant vaccines. He also worked for the University of Zimbabwe as a biochemistry and biotechnology lecturer before joining SIRDC.
At SIRDC, Dr Savadye is involved in many projects, notably the Korea-Africa Food Agriculture Cooperation Initiative projects and the maize improvement project that have had tremendous impact on the Zimbabwean agriculture.