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Contact information

Department of Life Sciences
The University of the West Indies St. Augustine,
Trinidad and Tobago



Natural Sciences Building
Plant Microbe-Lab
Tel: 1(868) 662-2002 (ext: 82238)


•Ph.D Microbiology (Candidate), UWI-STA- Upgraded from M.Phil to Ph.D July 2018

•B.Sc. (Biology & Mathematics) University of the West Indies, St. Augustine 2011 -2014- First Class Hons


Project Details

  • Title: “Molecular Characterisation of antibiotic resistance in Klebsiella pneumoniae from the major hospitals in Trinidad and Tobago.”
  • Summary: Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae), the medically most important species in its genus, has been ranked as one of the 12 priority pathogens likely to have major impacts around the world in the near future. This pathogen is highly critical due to its resistance to commonly used antibiotics for treating infections, including third-generation cephalosporins (commonly described as ESBL-producing) and carbapenems. Recently, this pathogen has shown to have virulence factors which enhances its ability to survive within the host. The significant rise in K. pneumoniae resistant and virulent strains around the world, including Trinidad and Tobago, was the drive for this project. The initial aim was to screen isolates collected from the hospital laboratories for molecular identification of the pathogen, ESBL-production, carbapenem resistant and virulence genes. Thus far, the research showed promising results. We detected resistant genes in isolates which showed phenotypic susceptibility and vice-versa. Therefore, the aim has been expanded to screen these samples to determine the potential reason for the variation observed. Apart from this, K. pneumoniae has been known to cause persistent infections which may sometimes subside with treatment, but only to re-emerge after treatment has stopped. Stress conditions such as exposure to antibiotics can change the expression of proteins by bacteria, making them more difficult to control. It is believed that K. pneumoniae produces specific proteins that protects it against antimicrobial agents as well as attach to tissue surfaces to form biofilm, for additional protection. A urine proteomic approach will be used to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the protein molecules potentially involved in the survival and persistence of antibiotic resistant pathogenic K. pneumoniae causing urogenital infections.

  • Supervisor: Dr. Adesh Ramsubhag
  • Co-Supervisor: Prof. Jayaraj Jayaraman



  • UWI PostGraduate Scholarship 2015-2017
  • First class honours, FST, UWI-STA.
  • BP Trinidad and Tobago LLC Bursary/Scholarship, UWI-STA
  • FST, UWI-STA Deans honour roll for Semester I and II 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 academic years respectively
  • 1st place in Pure Mathematics, CAPE
  • 1st place in History and Additional Mathematics, CXC
  • Mathematics Olympiad


Grants Awarded

  • Campus Research and Publication Fund, UWI-STA, 2017

Workshop Attended and Presented

  • Caribbean Association of Clinical Microbiology (CACM), 2017
  • Department of Life Sciences Symposium 2015-2016, 2016-2017,2017-2018
  • RDI antibiotic resistance conference. Dept. of Life Sciences, FST, UWI-STA August 2016
  • International Conference on Integrated Disease Management in Tropical Vegetables, Dept. of Life Sciences, FST, UWI-STA June 16 & 17th 2016

Work Experience

  • University of West Indies-Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Life Sciences January 2019-present
  • Demonstrator in Department of Life Sciences, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine 2014- present
  • Ministry of Works and Transport 2015
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