CIGBS adds first partner in Trinidad and Tobago

Published March 1, 2021

The University of the West Indies at St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago has been named an affiliate center of the UB Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences (CIGBS), a Global Virus Network Center of Excellence.

The alliance will strengthen international collaboration in viral research and response to pandemics, and create a broader hub for global biomedical sciences collaboration in the Caribbean region.

The University of the West Indies at St. Augustine will partner with the UB HIV and HCV Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory within the CIGBS to investigate and develop therapies for a number of viruses, including HIV, Zika, dengue and Chikungunya. The collaboration marks CIGBS’ first international partnership with a university in Trinidad and Tobago. The expanded research collaboration creates a growing hub within the University of the West Indies following the initial acceptance of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, in Jamaica as an affiliate center to UB. CIGBS also partners with research institutions in Nigeria, Spain, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The Global Virus Network is an international coalition of leading virologists from more than 34 nations that collaborate to identify and diagnose pandemic viruses; mitigate and control the spread of viruses; and develop drugs, vaccines and treatments, as well as train the next generation of virologists.

“I am pleased to see my colleagues from Trinidad and Tobago come under the GVN umbrella,” says Gene Morse, CIGBS director, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and SUNY Global Health Institute co-director. “I look forward to helping them share resources with the GVN, test and develop antiviral therapies and biomarkers, promote translational science, and build infrastructure and capacity for global virology research, including for COVID-19.”

“We look forward to working with our GVN collaborators, particularly at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, to share our expertise in viral epidemiology research, as well as participating in broader training programs to enhance our virus research capacity,” says Christine Carrington, professor of molecular genetics and virology at the University of the West Indies at St. Augustine and director of the new Global Virus Network affiliate.

The UB HIV and HCV Clinical Pharmacology Laboratory is recognized internationally for its work in antiviral pharmacology and therapeutics for HIV and hepatitis C virus. The University of the West Indies at St. Augustine specializes in the research of pathogens spread by mosquitos, ticks, flies and bats.