News Releases

The UWI presents their 5th annual Life Sciences Research Symposium

For Release Upon Receipt - April 15, 2015

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago –  On March 20, 2015, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Principal Professor Clement Sankat delivered opening remarks at the 5th annual Life Sciences Research Symposium of The University of the West Indies St. Augustine under the theme “Sustainable Development.” An event the Symposium’s organiser, Professor Chadee defined as a joint effort with all other departments in the Faculty of Science and Technology (Math, Computing, Physics, Chemistry) that was suggested to him five years ago by Prof. Sankat and is today a reality – "your vision – and legacy which will be long remembered.”

The Principal acknowledged the sterling contributions made by Professors Dave Chadee and John Agard including their fine stewardship of this programme.  Professor Sankat reinforced that research must continue to be impactful; through research mobilisation, research dissemination and research translation.  He went on to encourage the students and staff who attended, to use research to create a better quality of life for our citizens. He reiterated that “our research must be brought to life and placed in our homes, businesses, gardens, kitchens and industries.”

He noted that while we have to maintain strong scholarly traditions and publish in the leading journals of the world, as this is what ranked universities must do, our task is not complete unless we engage our stakeholders and share with them our Research and Development findings, and demonstrate how this can bring value to their livelihoods.

In her greetings speech, Acting Dean, Donna Commisiong echoed these sentiments by emphasising the need to cultivate research right here in Trinidad: “for too often it is the case that we seek foreign expertise when we have the local talent right here in our own backyard so-to-speak. We must lose the perception that foreign talent is better than local talent.”

Postgraduate students and academic staff members showcased their interdisciplinary research in key areas such as Agriculture, Biochemistry, Freshwater and Marine Ecology, Microbiology, Environmental Physics, Mathematical modelling and Computer and Systems applications through traditional and interactive video presentations.  Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, Dr. Patrick Hosein heralded their efforts in light of the current lack of innovation in research: “There is no doubt that there is a need for innovation in academia in Trinidad and Tobago. This can be seen from our rankings in the Global Competitive Report of the World Economic Forum. In an environment such as ours, where we have insufficient experts in any single research area, inter-disciplinary and inter-campus collaborations are a must if we are to achieve this innovation goal.”

The symposium closed with Dr. Judith Gobin, Lecturer of Marine Biology’s declaring the Department of Life Sciences' Fifth Research Symposium a success and thanked presenters and researchers for keeping with the theme of “Sustainable Development” by their attempt to “find solutions to solve local, regional and global problems.”


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.)