Research Facilities

Aquaculture | Histology Research | Biochemistry | Greenhouse | National Herbarium | Biotechnology | Zoology Museum

The Biotechnology Research Centre


The Biotechnology Research Centre consists of a tissue culture laboratory and a well-equipped molecular biology laboratory consisting of microfuges, bench-top centrifuges, a high speed centrifuge, Freezers (-20oC, -80oC), spectrophotometers, DNA fluorimeters, transilluminator with a photodocumentation system, millipore water system, hybridisation oven, dot-blot and southern blotting apparatus, Incubator/Shakers, programmable water baths, gel apparatus for DNA and isozyme electrophoresis. The tissue culture laboratory, with two transfer rooms (5 Laminar Flow Hoods), four culture rooms and a dedicated hardening facility, is capable of undertaking commercial projects in addition to research. Other equipment in this facility includes autoclaves, electroporation equipment and an inverted microscope.

The Research Centre presently has five faculty and seven postgraduate students. Research is carried out in the areas of micropropagation and transformation of tropical crops; genetic diversity of tropical tree species, plant pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and fungi; the molecular biology of plant pathogenic organisms and diagnosis of maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY).

In addition, the biotechnology unit has embarked on a number of commercial projects, mainly in the area of tissue culture of some tropical crop species.



Dr. P. Umaharan, Senior Lecturer, (Co-ordinator).
Prof. (Emeritus). E.J. Duncan.
Dr. Sirju-Charran, Senior Lecturer.
Dr. Brian Cockburn, Lecturer.
Mrs. Ann Beddoe, Tissue Culture Technician.
Mrs. Verena Gajadharsingh, Molecular Biology Technician.
Mr. Vidur Ramnath, Laboratory Assistant.


Contact information:

The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. Trinidad. West Indies
(Northern End of the St. Augustine Campus behind the Centre for Monetary Studies)
Tel: (868) 645-3232 Ext. 3415; 3569; 3108
Fax: (868) 663-9686


Postgraduate students:

Nigel Austin, Ria Swarath, Annelle Holder, Laura-Lee Boodram, Regina Fraser, Marlun Jitta.


Funding Sources:

UWI Deans Awards, UWI Scholarship, EUFORUM/CARIFORUM (CARTF).



International Laboratory for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, The Scripps Research Unit, California, USA; Crop and Food Research Institute, New Zealand, Rhone-Poulenc Ltd; Howard Hughes Medical Institute at The University of Chicago, INRA (Guadaloupe); Cocoa Research Unit, The University of the West Indies; Caroni (1975) Ltd; Floricultural Association of Trinidad and Tobago.


Other related links:

REDBIO (Caribbean); CAPGERNET, Biotechnology Centre (UWI, Mona Campus), Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, UWI, Mount Hope.


Revised: 27 September 2011.