SUNY-UWI Health Research Consortium Workshop

In collaboration with the SUNY - UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development and the SUNY Global Health Institute

December 11, 2020

    The SUNY UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development and the SUNY Global Health Institute hosted a joint session of the SUNY-UWI Health Research Consortium to discuss the current status and pending opportunituies for the initiative in the coming years, and to consider the impact of COVID-19 on Caribbean societies, this workshop engaged:

  • Faculty
  • Government agencies
  • Industry partners 

    This workshop was open to all SUNY and UWI campus sectors and to institutions with academic programs or research in global health and related areas i.e. program directors, faculty, department chairs, global affairs offices. The workshop reflected the ongoing efforts of the SUNY-UWI Health Research Consortium to plan and implement a clinical and translational research environment that is based at the UWI Mona Campus in Jamaica and includes the UWI campus network and contributing territories across the Caribbean region.  Initial emphasis has been focused on emerging infectious diseases, an effort that led to a Global Infectious Diseases Research Training Program funded by the Fogarty International Center at the National Institute of Health.  Additional progress in the area of emerging infectious diseases, including COVID-19, has been complemented by recent development in non-communicable diseases research such as cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases including diabetes mellitus.

Downloadable PDF of workshop details:


  • Gene D. Morse, PharmD, FCCP,BCPS: Co-Director; SUNY Global Health Institute; SUNY Distinguished Professor; Director, Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo; SUNY Principal Investigator: NIH Fogarty International Center; Global Infectious Diseases Research Training Program (Jamaica) and HIV Research training Program (Zimbabwe).
  • John F. Lindo, PhD: Co-chair, SUNY-UWI Health Research Taskforce; Professor of Parasite Epidemiology, Department of Microbiology, The University of West Indies, Mona Campus; Co-Principal Investigator: NIH Fogarty International Center; Global Infectious Diseases Research Training Program (Jamaica).
  • Jack A. DeHovitz, MD, MPH: Co-Director; SUNY Global Health Institute; SUNY Distinguished Service Professor, SUNY Downstate Medical Center; SUNY Principal Investigator: NIH Fogarty International Center; HIV Research Training Program (Ukraine, Georgia, and Kazakhstan).

Participating Organizations


Gene Morse

Dr. Gene D. Morse is a SUNY Distinguished Professor and Director of the University at Buffalo’s (UB) Center for Integrated Global Health Sciences. He is Co-Director of the SUNY Global Health Institute and Co-Chair of the SUNY-The University of the West Indies (UWI) Health Research Consortium. Dr. Morse is the Program Director/PI for the SUNY/UWI Global Infectious Diseases Research Program and the Program Director/PI for the HIV Research Training Program with the University of Zimbabwe funded by the NIH Fogarty International Center. Dr. Morse also directs NIAID-supported programs including the UB HIV Pharmacology Specialty Laboratory and the HIV Clinical Pharmacology Quality Assurance Program. Dr. Morse directs UB’s Global Virus Network Center of Excellence which has Affiliate Centers at UWI and the University of Zimbabwe.


Tod Laursen

Since 2018, Tod A. Laursen is the Senior Vice Chancellor and Provost of the State University of New York (SUNY). Dr. Laursen joined SUNY from Khalifa University (KU) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where he was the founding president and served as its leader since 2010. In February of 2017, KU as it exists today was formed by the merger of three Abu Dhabi higher education institutions: Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KUSTAR), the Masdar Institute, and the Petroleum Institute. Dr. Laursen had served as the president of KUSTAR for the first seven years of his tenure in Abu Dhabi, and was named leader of the merged institution subsequently. SUNY Office of the Provost, coordinates the system’s academic enterprise in close collaboration with its 64 college and university campuses. This includes a broad and diverse range of responsibilities such as academic program review, data collection, student mobility, and the implementation of technology across the system in order to build on SUNY’s academic standards and support to ensure more students earn a college degree.   

Hilary Beckles

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles is the Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies. Before assuming this office on May 1, 2015, he served the university as Professor of Economic History, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Undergraduate Studies, and Principal of its Cave Hill Campus in Barbados for thirteen years (2002-15). Sir Hilary has had a distinguished career as an academic, international thought leader, United Nations committee official, and global public activist in the field of social justice and minority empowerment. 



Christian Brechot

Dr. Bréchot is the President of the Global Virus Network. His research activities have been focused on hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), particularly with regard to their role in liver cancer (Hepatocellular carcinoma: HCC) and to the molecular mechanisms that drive liver regeneration and cancer (in particular, cell cycle deregulation and the impact of oxidative stress). He has been a member of numerous scientific committees and societies and has received prestigious awards. He is currently a full Professor with tenure at the University of South Florida in Tampa and Executive Director of the Romark LLC Institute for Medical Research, also based in Tampa.


Shyam Kottilil

Dr. Shyam Kottilil is the Associate Director of the Division of Clinical Care and Research at the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University at Maryland. He serves as the Director of the Clinical Trials Unit, Division of Infectious Diseases at the IHV while also working as the Scientific Director of the NIH-District of Columbia Program for AIDS Progress. Dr. Kottilil has focused his research on hepatitis C, including serving as one of the founding members of the US National Hepatitis C treatment panel. 


Peter Kilmarx

Peter H. Kilmarx, MD, an expert in infectious disease research and HIV/AIDS programs and policy, has served since 2015 as the Deputy Director of the John E. Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health, a preeminent center for global health research and capacity building. Dr. Kilmarx previously held a variety of leadership positions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 1996, including Country Director in both Zimbabwe and Botswana, Senior Advisor to the Director for Health Reform and Chief of the Epidemiology Branch — both in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, and Chief of the CDC’s Sexual Transmission Research Section in Thailand. Dr. Kilmarx has helped lead CDC Ebola response efforts in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 


Joshua Anzinger

Dr. Joshua Anzinger is a Senior Lecturer at The University of the West Indies, Department of Microbiology and directs the Virology Research Laboratory. He is the Director of the Global Virus Network Affiliate Centre of Excellence at the UWI Mona Campus. The lab focuses on the following research: Immunometabolism in HIV-infected people with non-communicable diseases, sexually transmitted infections associated with increased sexual transmission risk of HIV and the interaction of vaginal bacteria with HIV. 



Nancy Gore Saravia

Nancy Gore Saravia, Biologa, MSc (Environmental Health, Johns Hopkins University) PhD (Microbiology, Vanderbilt University) Postdoc (Immunobiology, U. Wisconsin, Madison) is the Director of the Centro Internacional de Entrenamiento e Investigaciones Medicas in Cali, Colombia has promoted and pursued research and research capacity development on infectious disease in Colombia since 1978. Her research has been largely devoted to understanding the host-Leishmania relationship in the endemic context.  The contribution of her interdisciplinary research on infectious diseases including, malaria, American trypanosomiasis, tuberculosis and leishmaniasis to public health has been recognized with the Jose Celestino Mutis Medal by the Colombian Ministry of Health and by the international scientific community with the Bailey K. Ashford and Ben Kean Medals of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


Gavin Cloherty

Dr. Gavin Cloherty is head of Infectious Disease Research for Abbott’s diagnostics business. He provides scientific leadership in the area of infectious disease diagnostics by conducting groundbreaking clinical studies on hepatitis and HIV and developing new tests. He has more than 20 years of experience with Abbott and leads a team of scientists in the study of  the viral diversity of HIV and hepatitis. His expertise is sought after globally through his established partnerships with commercial organizations, ministries of health, government agencies and academic institutions, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health’s AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) and Hepatitis B Research Network (HBRN). 

John Lindo

Dr. John Lindo is a Full Professor of Parasite Epidemiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences at The UWI, Mona campus and former Deputy Dean (Research). A Consultant Parasitologist to the University Hospital of the West Indies, Dr. Lindo was the former director of Jamaica’s only Virology laboratory where Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika and all other vector borne viruses are diagnosed. He is the UWI Co-PI for the Global Infectious Diseases Research Training program and Co-Chair of the SUNY-UWI Health Research Consortium.



Alan Landay

Dr. Alan Landay is Professor, Dept of Internal Medicine; Dept of Microbial Pathogens and Immunity, and Assistant Provost of Team Science at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.  He has been involved in HIV research for over 30 years having performed some of the first immune evaluations of HIV infected haemophiliacs in 1982. Dr. Landay joined Rush University Medical Center in 1983 and helped establish the HIV research program which encompasses a basic and translational focus on immune studies. Dr. Landay’s current research is pathogenesis, mucosal immunity and immune therapy of HIV and associated diseases. 


Mark Cameron

As Associate Professor, Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Cameron directs or co-directs the genomics activities of several large cores or consortia, including his own CWRU Applied Functional Genomics Core (AGFC). As primarily a team scientist, Dr. Cameron works with diverse clinicians and researchers to further build and apply omic workflows, including cancer researchers at CWRU and University Hospitals, the Care Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Cleveland Clinic.  


Jack DeHovitz

Dr. Jack DeHovitz is the Director of the Special Treatment and Research Program (STAR) at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Co-Director of the SUNY Global Health Institute. In 1980, Dr. DeHovitz was six months into his medicine internship in New York City, when young men suddenly started presenting with a series of infections and dying. It took a year or two for the scope of the AIDS epidemic to become clear, but already DeHovitz was impassioned to learn more—and to get involved. His interest in infectious disease led him to found an ambulatory care clinic at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn that now takes care of more than 1,200 people living with HIV and an international research program in Eastern Europe and Central Asia that spans 11 countries.    

Ellen Koenig

Dr. Ellen Koenig is the Medical Director of the Instituto Dominicano de Estudios Virólgicos (IDEV), an organization which she founded over 20 years ago. IDEV is a Dominican non-profit organization that was originally established to run clinical trials with new molecules for HIV. As stated in its name, IDEV works with viruses, especially HIV, hepatitis virus and papillomavirus. In 1991, Dr. Koenig received her Doctor of Medicine degree, cum laude, from UNIBE in Santo Domingo. She recently was recognized as one of three “Women Who Have Changed the World” by el Banco BHD Leon.


Marvin Reid

Dr. Marvin Reid is the Deputy Dean of Graduate Studies and Research in the Faculty of Medical Science at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. Dr. Reid is director of the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit and Associate Lecturer in Department of Community Medicine & Psychiatry at the University of the West Indies, Mona. He is also the former director of the Sickle Cell Unit for several years. His research interests include community medicine, clinical trials and human metabolism. Specifically, as a metabolist and clinical nutritionist, Prof. Reid conducts research into the use of non-radioactive for human illness. Dr. Reid is the director of the UWI Clinical and Translational Research Network, a central component of the SUNY-UWI Health Research Consortium.

Sanjay Sethi

Dr. Sanjay Sethi is Professor and Chief, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine; Assistant Vice President for Health Sciences at the University at Buffalo. His research interests include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and lung infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Dr Sethi is director of UB’s Clinical Research Office and deputy director of UB’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. The goal of the CTSI is to help speed development of new treatments from the lab bench to patients, in large part by getting more patients to participate in and benefit from clinical trials. 

Jay Rappaport

Dr. Jay Rappaport is the Director and Chief Academic Officer at Tulane University’s National Primate Center; Professor Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Tulane School of Medicine. Tulane’s National Primate Research Center (TNPRC) improves human and animal health through basic and applied biomedical research. As one of the seven National Primate Research Centers funded by the NIH, the TNPRC is committed to discovering causes, preventions, treatments, and cures that allow people around the world to live longer, healthier lives. Dr. Rappaport’s primary research interests include developing vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tools for AIDS, Lyme disease, malaria and tuberculosis. 

Simone Sandiford

Dr. Simone Sandiford is a lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus in Kingston, Jamaica. Her research interest is focused on understanding the biology of mosquitoes that spread diseases in Jamaica.  Dr. Sandiford’s areas of interest include identification of pathogens in various mosquito populations throughout the island; investigating whether vector competence of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes is influenced by co-infection with multiple circulating pathogens such as Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya viruses and other emerging viral threats; and discovery of indigenous compounds that disrupt pathogen transmission in the mosquito.

Karen Webster

Dr. Karen Webster-Kerr is Principal Medical Officer, National Epidemiologist, Ministry of Health, Jamaica. She has been in public health practice for 20 years and spent most of her time at the Local Health Department in Kingston and St. Andrew (KSA). In her current position she leads on national health programs and policies especially as it relates to epidemiology and research. Dr. Webster-Kerr is Chair of the Health Thematic Working Group for Jamaica’s National Development Plan: Vision 2030.  



Maurice McNaughton

Dr. Maurice McNaughton has over 25 years senior management and leadership experience in the planning and direction of enterprise-level Information Technology in organizations. He is currently Director of the Centre for IT-enabled Innovation at the Mona School of Business & Management, UWI. Dr McNaughton’s research interest spans the domain of emerging Open ICT ecosystems and Digitalization. He serves on several Boards in the public and private sectors including, Chairman of the National Information Systems for Health Steering Committee, the Board of Directors of VMBS, and the Board of Commissioners of the Overseas Examinations Commission.

Casey Frankenberger

Dr. Casey Frankenberger is chief research informatics officer and assistant professor in the department of Cell and Molecular medicine at Rush University Medical Center. Recently, he co-led the first native integration of structured genomics into a popular electronic health record system. Before joining Rush, he was the director of computational biology and clinical translation at Tempus Labs, a Chicago-based startup focused on precision medicine, clinical genomics, and cancer informatics. Prior to Tempus Labs, Casey spent time at the University of Chicago and the National Cancer Institute. 



Ative Ennis

Ative Ennis is the Commercial Director and former Head of Innovation and Enterprise Solutions for Digicel Group.  An accomplished critical thinker and strategist with advanced expertise in Sales, Customer Relationship Management, Marketing and Finance, Ative has worked extensively throughout the Caribbean and United States providing consulting services on transformational projects in Latin America. He also has expertise in developing and driving the ICT strategy for Jamaica, and business development with major stakeholders on matters relating to the development of the Logistics Hub, e-Learning, Safe City and Telemedicine initiatives among others.


Scott Hepford

Scott Hepford is the Co-Founder and CEO of Diabetes Relief International.  Diabetes Relief is an Advanced Diabetes Healthcare Center that is ushering in the evolution of diabetic healthcare management to help patients and doctors achieve superior outcomes. Its unique patented patient care plan is comprised of 2 parts state-of-the-art cutting-edge medicine and 2 parts traditional diabetic medical care. The treatment system includes an individualized, physician-directed metabolic restoration program and a proprietary metabolic-reconditioning supplement.

James Mohler

Dr. James Mohler is Chief, Inter-Institutional Academics, and Professor of Oncology, at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Professor of Urology at the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Adjunct Professor of Urology and Member of UNC-Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at University of North Carolina. Dr. Mohler’s clinical practice focuses upon prostate cancer and robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery. His laboratory focuses upon the role of androgen metabolism and the androgen receptor in racial differences in prostate cancer aggressiveness and prostate cancer recurrence during androgen deprivation therapy. 

Marshall Tulloch-Reid

Dr. Marshall Tulloch-Reid is Professor of Epidemiology and Endocrinology and Director of the Epidemiology Research Unit of the CAIHR. He is also Co-Director of the Caribbean Branch of the US Cochrane Centre. He is currently PI on two NIH grants involving designed to improve our understanding of cardiovascular disease and cancer by building regional capacity through a regional center of excellence and a cohort created from the Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Study. His research interests include the identification of risk factors for chronic diseases throughout the life course and improving approaches for the prevention & treatment of these disorders. Professor Tulloch-Reid is a medically qualified Epidemiologist and Endocrinologist. 

Pawel Kalinski

Dr. Pawel Kalinski is the Vice Chair for Translational Research in the Department of Medicine at Roswell Park CCC Dr. Kalinski’s overall goal of his research is to advance the integration of immunotherapy within comprehensive cancer care, as a complementary modality to surgery, chemo and radiotherapy. His team develops new methods of using ex vivo-educated dendritic cells, DC-activated T cells, combinatorial adjuvants and checkpoint blockers, to promote selectively accumulation of type-1 immune cells (CTLs, Th1 and NK cells) in tumor lesions, without amplifying pre-existing Treg- and MDSC responses,  to enhance local immune surveillance and enhance overall therapeutic outcomes. 

Sarbajit Mukherjee

Dr. Sarbajit Muhkerjee is an Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Department of Medicine
and a Member of the Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Program faculty member at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. He specializes in Esophageal Cancer Gastric Cancer Neuroendocrine Tumors Colon Cancer and the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors in solid tumors.


Jorge Kalil

Dr. Jorge Kalil is Professor of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at the School of Medicine, University of São Paulo. Graduated in Medicine in Brasil, he got his Doctor of Sciences degree at Jean Dausset’s laboratory, Nobel laureate for discovery of HLA, in Paris. Dr. Kalil is Doctor Honoris Causa of Sorbonne Universités de Paris and was International Scholar of Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Visiting Professor at Stanford Medical School, Director of Butantan Institute and President of IUIS – International Union of Immunological Societies.


Trevor Ferguson

Dr. Trevor Ferguson is a Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology at CAIHR and Honorary Consultant in General Internal Medicine at the UHWI. He is part of the Chronic Disease Research Group at the Epidemiology Research Unit and conducts research in the fields of cardiovascular disease, epidemiology, and diabetes.  Dr Ferguson’s research is primarily in the field of cardiovascular disease and diabetes epidemiology, with a particular focus of the early life and life-course determinants of hypertension.


John Hackett

Dr. John Hackett is divisional vice president of Applied Research and Technology for Abbott's diagnostics business and manages diagnostics R&D in the areas of infectious diseases, oncology, cardiovascular, blood screening, biologics design and discovery, and clinical chemistry. Dr. Hackett is responsible for managing Abbott’s Global Surveillance Program that houses more than 60,000 HIV and hepatitis specimens, making it one of the largest libraries in the world. Dr. Hackett’s expertise includes, safety of the blood supply, infectious disease, disease surveillance, emerging pathogens and outbreaks, Zika virus, diagnostic testing, virus hunting, blood screening, blood donation, HIV and hepatitis testing.

Bob Balderas

Dr. Bob Balderas is the Vice President of Biological Sciences at BD Biosciences and is responsible for developing and driving R&D programs. As a corporate scientist, site manager, collaboration builder and marketer in the field of biotechnology, he has contributed to the growth of BD Biosciences and Pharmingen. He has more than three decades in leadership positions in both academia and the biotechnology industry. As a Distinguished BD Fellow and the VP of Biological Sciences at BD, he is focused on accelerating the market adoption of new tools and technologies by the Life Science community.

Patrick Mallon

Professor Paddy Mallon is Professor of Microbial Diseases in University College Dublin (UCD) and an Infectious Diseases Specialist at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin. Professor Mallon trained in Infectious Diseases in Sydney Australia and completed a PhD in long-term toxicities of HIV under the supervision of Professor David Cooper and Professor Andrew Carr.  He is the director of the UCD Centre for Experimental Pathogen Host Research (CEPHR), on the governing board of the European AIDS Clinical Society and chairs the EACS Comorbidities Guidelines Panel and is a Director of the Wellcome Trust / HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training Programme.