Professorial Inaugural Lecture- Patrick Akpaka: Microbes without Borders

Event Date(s): 18/06/2015

Location: Amphitheatre A, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Eric Williams Medical Complex

The Open Lectures Committee presents the Professorial Inaugural Lecture- Patrick Akpaka on the topic “Microbes without Borders, Tracking the Molecular Epidemiology of Germs.”

This event takes place from 5pm.


The field of Molecular epidemiology in Microbiology has emerged from the integration of molecular biology into traditional epidemiologic research. This field improves our understanding of the disease processes (pathogenesis) by identifying specific organisms, pathways, molecules and genes that influence the risk of developing such infectious diseases. Molecular techniques when applied to studies of disease, the resulting enhanced measurement increases our ability to more reliably detect associations.

You probably already know that bugs or germs don’t respect borders. Germs especially bacteria that are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics—are serious health problems at both local, national and international level. Drug resistance is definitely a global problem. And there are several troubling examples when it comes to global drug resistance to bacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB), methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and multidrug resistant (MDR) Gram negative organisms such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae or Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Dr Akpaka’s research works have focused on the molecular epidemiology of the germs such as TB, MRSA, multidrug resistant E. coli, Klebsiella and Pseudomonas. His work has aimed at delineating how these germs especially Staphylococcus aureus crosses borders to enter hospitals and even countries. Did a special strain of these organisms evolve in hospitals in Trinidad & Tobago? How do we track their activities, movements and infections in Trinidad & Tobago and beyond the region? Are the strains of germs we have here in the country clonally related to those from other countries? These are some of the questions his lecture will try to answer.


Open to: | General Public | Staff | Student | Alumni |