The University of the West Indies

Alumni Contacts

Dave Balkissoon

Dave Balkissoon


Institute for Animal Health Compton High Street Newbury, Berkshire. RG20 7NN United Kingdom
E-mail: dave.balkissoon@bbsrc.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (1635) 577 955
Fax: +44 (1635) 577 263

 

Profile

I received my DVM in 1999 from the School of Veterinary Medicine, UWI. After graduation, I worked in a mixed practice in Trinidad, before moving to southern Morocco in 2001 to take up an appointment with the Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al Saud Foundation for the Conservation and Development of Wildlife. This wildlife facility led the world in the artificial breeding and release of their flagship species - the houbara bustard. Through the kind sponsorship of our patron, we were able to set up a world-class avian veterinary diagnostic laboratory to service similar breeding centres in the wider Middle East.

I completed an internship in raptor medicine in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, before moving to Abu Dhabi in 2003, and was one of a team of veterinary surgeons working at the world’s largest bird-of-prey hospital. The appointment involved clinical work, as well as the preservation of the cultural traditions in the art of falconry and raptor conservation.

I am presently funded by the Cambridge Infectious Diseases Consortium (C.I.D.C., Dept. of Veterinary Medicine, Univ. of Cambridge) to pursue research in avian molecular immunology at the Institute for Animal Health, Compton, Berkshire. I work on the Mx gene in the chicken, and its role in antiviral action against high pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI). I investigate Mx polymorphisms in the genotypes of highly inbred lines and ancestral breeds of chicken, and relate this to in-vitro antiviral action. I am also interested in visualizing the Mx protein interactions within the cell, in the presence of avian influenza virus. By identifying genotypes that better resist infection and pathology, breeding strategies may be employed to reduce the reservoirs to human infection. I believe the definitive establishment of the role of the Mx gene in the chicken will further inform us as to the contribution of innate immunity of birds in combating HPAI.


Richard Benjamin

Richard Benjamin


E-mail: richard_b692002@yahoo.com
Tel: 1 905 451 2000
Fax: 1 905 451 9692
Address: 496 Main St North, Brampton,
ON L6V 1P9,
Canada

 

Profile

I graduated with honours from the School of Veterinary Medicine, in 1998. In 1998, I started my own small animal house-call service, which grew from 10 clients to over 1,000 clients, including two (2) major security firms.

I migrated to Canada in 2002, and wrote the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) two months after arrival. I was successful at the first attempt. I applied as a technician to a few clinics in Brampton, and was hired ‘on spot’, on the same day of the interview. It was two years until I finally got a date for my Clinical Proficiency Examination (CPE) in December 2004, and once again, I passed at the first attempt.

Working in Canada has been very challenging but rewarding. North Town Veterinary Hospital is a 24-hour emergency and general hospital - open 7 days a week, including all statutory holidays. Our diagnostics include all full wellness profiles: CBC, blood gas and electrolyte monitoring, 4D ultrasound with video capability, endoscopy, radiographs and spiral CT scanning with 3D imaging. Our hospital is well equipped for any emergency and specialized case management. We are the only clinic in Ontario with a CT scan, and the number-one referral clinic in Brampton.

After working as a veterinarian for two years and building my own International E-Commerce business with my wife Colette, the sky was not the limit. Together, with two other partners, I purchased North Town. My partners and I have now set our goal on purchasing a few more satellite clinics, and expanding our services beyond the boundaries of Ontario.

 
Richard Noel

Richard Noel

DVM
Chief of Staff
Banfield, The Pet Hospital of Lilburn, GA
2150 Paxton Dr
Lilburn , GA
30047
E-mail: rknoel@email.com

 

Profile

I am a 2000 DVM graduate of the School of Veterinary Medicine, UWI.  After graduation, I worked in a mixed, animal practice, in Trinidad, before moving to Miami in 2001. In Miami, I worked as a veterinary assistant with a 24-hour veterinary group.  This was an ideal environment for observing the cultural differences that helped my successful completion of the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) in 2002.  After successful completion of NAVLE, I completed one year of Evaluated Clinical Experience at the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine.  I then started practice with Banfield, The Pet Hospital in 2004.

Banfield is the largest veterinary practice in the world, with almost 600 locations in the US, UK and Mexico, and has been in existence since 1955.  This is primarily a companion, animal practice and is focused, on enhancing the pet-family bond, through state of the art veterinary medicine.  I am now the Chief of Staff of my suburban Atlanta location.

I have been very well prepared for every phase of my professional life by my experience at the School of Veterinary Medicine.  I encourage fellow graduates of The University of the West Indies to explore their options, as citizens of the world.

 
Varsha Ramoutar

Varsha Ramoutar


E-mail: vramout2@uiuc.edu
varsha_ramoutar@yahoo.com
Tel: 217-333-2000 (work)
217-333-8112 (office)
Address:
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
LAC 261, MC-004
1008 West Hazelwood Drive
Urbana, Illinois 61802

 

Profile

I graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine in May 2001 with my DVM (Hons.). After spending one year, as a part-time tutor to small groups of students, in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, I wrote the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination in December 2002 and, was successful at the first attempt. I then took up a short-term attachment with the Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. In May 2005, along with six other international candidates, I commenced the Examination Council for the Foreign Veterinary Graduate (ECFVG) program at the University of Florida, which was successfully completed in May 2006.

My passion has always been in the areas of food animal, public health, poultry and pathology. In August 2006, I started a food animal medicine and surgery residency at the University of Illinois. The residency is a three-year program that entails clinical duties (medicine and surgery), two specialty board exams (by choice), teaching duties, and a research project, and leads to a master’s degree.

I am a proud graduate of The University of the West Indies School of Veterinary Medicine. In my travels, as a veterinarian and academic pursuits, I strive to be an exemplary ambassador, not only for myself, but also for my alma mater and the people of my region.