News Releases

Two Senior UWI Lecturers Appointed To Professors

For Release Upon Receipt - March 27, 2015

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago – The University of the West Indies (The UWI) is pleased to announce the promotion of two of its senior lecturers to the rank of professor, with effect from February 2015. These newly appointed professors qualified for promotion based on their records of teaching and research as well as their contributions to public service.  They are Dr Patrick Akpaka and Dr Francis Dziva of the St Augustine Campus, Trinidad.

The careful scrutiny and subsequent promotion of these two individuals, who have met the University’s highest academic standards, is demonstrative of The UWI’s commitment to excellence in teaching, research, innovation, intellectual leadership and outreach and its mission and vision for Caribbean development.

Dr Patrick Akpaka has been promoted to the rank of professor of Medical Microbiology. A Jamaican national, but Nigerian by birth, he currently works at the Unit of Pathology and Microbiology at the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University’s St Augustine Campus. In 1990 he obtained his Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus and his Doctor of Medicine qualification from The UWI Mona Campus in 2004. He joined The UWI teaching staff as a lecturer in 2005 and was promoted to senior lecturer in 2011. During this time he has served as a consultant microbiologist at The Scarborough General Hospital in Tobago since October 2008 and a part-time consultant microbiologist with the South West Regional Health Authority General Hospital in San Fernando, Trinidad. He teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including supervision of the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Professor Akpaka is responsible for the development and introduction of the University’s Master of Science degree in Medical Microbiology, which saw its first cohort of students in 2012/2013. During his career, he has pioneered several research projects investigating the molecular epidemiology of several multi-drug resistant infections caused by several bacterial organisms. He has authored two book chapters and 38 articles published in refereed journals and presented 18 papers at regional and international scientific conferences. Besides his teaching and research, Professor Akpaka contributes significantly to university and public service.  He is a university examiner and a course convener. At the University’s administration level, he has served as Acting Head of the Department of Para-Clinical Sciences and Deputy Dean of the School of Basic Health Sciences in the Faculty of Medical Science in July 2012. He also works with several regional health authorities in Trinidad and Tobago, serving as Chairman of the South West Regional Health Authority’s Infection Prevention and Control Committee and a member of the Laboratory Management Committee of the Tobago Regional Health Authority.

Dr Francis Dziva of the St Augustine Campus earned his professorship in Veterinary Bacteriology. He is currently based at the Department of Basic Veterinary Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine. His other qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science from the University of Zimbabwe which he obtained in 1991, a Master of Science degree from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) at the University of London in 1993 and his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RVS) in 2011. He has been a senior lecturer at The UWI since 2012 with a background of significant experience as a principal investigator, a senior research scientist in the United Kingdom and a lecturer in Zimbabwe. Professor Dziva is an active member of the RVS and a member of the editorial boards of the International Scholarly Research Notices, the Microbiology Open Veterinary Science Journal and West Indian Veterinary Journal. His own publications include one co-authored book, one monograph, 44 articles published in refereed journals, 10 presentations at scientific conferences and seminars as well as several other papers for invited lectures regionally and internationally. At The UWI, he lectures at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and is also supervising one Master of Philosophy student, one Doctor of Philosophy student and two groups of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students in the School of Veterinary Medicine. Since his move to The UWI, Professor Dziva has set up projects of a more applied nature, using his skills in molecular biology to study bacterial pathogens important in Trinidad and Tobago. He is currently a visiting research scientist at the Department of Animal Sciences at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Other honours include two Outstanding Research awards from the Institute for Animal Health in 2004 and 2007 and two Merit Research awards in 2005 and 2012 from the Institute of Animal Health in Compton, UK.

The following remarks from the external assessors’ reports were shared by The University’s Office of Administration:

Dr Patrick Akpaka

“One point that especially struck me about Dr Akpaka’s publications is that they reflect the very collaborative nature of his work, especially on a global scale.”

Dr Francis Dziva

“He is an expert on avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) – an important cause of septicaemia and cellulitis in broiler chickens – and on the pathogenesis of E. coli and salmonella. His 2013 paper on the evolution of an APEC strain is an outstanding contribution to the field.”



About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)