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SUNY / University of the West Indies

The UB Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences (CIGBS) will be working with the SUNY Global Health Institute (GHI) to build research opportunities in Jamaica and the Caribbean region. An infectious diseases research center is a high priority for the SUNY—University of the West Indies (UWI) collaboration.

Enabling Jamaica to become a regional hub, the research will focus on microbiologic, immunologic and pharmacologic aspects related to detection, epidemiology, diagnostics, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. It will partner with programs such as the Global Virus Network, WHO and Global Fund and network with the diabetes, digestive and liver disease and nanomedicine programs noted below. 

Clinical Trials and Translational Research Center

Biomedical clinical research requires an organized, monitored and quality-assured program that encourages interaction among faculty members, students, patients, funding agencies and the pharmaceutical research industry. So the West Indies Ministry of Health and UWI are collaborating to ensure that GLP, GCLP and ISO accreditation standards are met and sustained. They will be looking at data management systems along with the country's strategic plan for health information technology and a digital records system.

Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Program

Antibiotic resistance is an international public health challenge that requires immediate attention. A complex dynamic exists between the procurement, clinical use, monitoring and development of resistance and patient outcomes. Key steps in the formation of the antimicrobial resistance and stewardship program include:

  • Immediate translational research on pharmacologic factors that contribute to poor outcomes in complex patients
  • The role of biosurfaces
  • Development of an antimicrobial resistance laboratory at the University of the West Indies
  • Development of a health information technology plan that integrates antibiotic usage with laboratory reporting of antimicrobial resistance with data analytics and outcomes reporting

An integrated approach is critically needed to implement the Antimicrobial Stewardship and Resistance Programs in Jamaica’s Center of Excellence Hospitals. 

Diabetes, Digestive and Liver Disease Program

Dr. Morse and Dr. Lombardo presenting at the University Diabetes Outreach Program

The University of the West Indies is structuring a program that includes screening, diagnostics, treatment and prevention related to cardiovascular, diabetes, renal, infectious, social and nutritional causes of digestive and liver disease.

The program will include medical, surgical, nutritional and treatment components and could become a national model for regional implementation. CIGBS will help establish a stakeholder group to guide the development of viral hepatitis research projects and to facilitate a liver disease conference to be held in 2016.

Cannabinoid Sciences and Clinical Applications Research Program

The UWI is a regional and global leader in conducting clinical research on cannabinoid treatment. Its scientists and researchers are developing best practices for quality assurance and patient monitoring that will establish national guidelines for optimal cannabinoid use. Clinical experts from endocrinology, primary care, pharmacologic sciences, nanotechnology, behavioral sciences and patient safety are collaborating on this initiative.

Cancer Research in Natural Products and Nanomedicine

UWI will establish a multidisciplinary program to identify indigenous compounds with anticancer properties. The university also will develop nanomedicine approaches—innovative formulation and tissue-targeted nanocarrier systems—that maximize therapeutic benefit and minimize drug toxicity. The program will bring together researchers and clinicians in biochemistry, analytical chemistry, proteomics, bioengineering, nanotechnology and pharmaceutical sciences to develop, patent and commercialize cancer diagnostics and therapeutics.