News Releases

7 UWI St. Augustine researchers ranked in top 2% of the authors in their disciplines

For Release Upon Receipt - April 22, 2022

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine Campus, April 22, 2022 – Seven UWI St. Augustine researchers are among the top 2% of the authors in their respective research disciplines globally in a database published in PLOS Biology journal authored by academics from Stanford University. This list represents the names of the scientists within the top 2% of their main sub-field discipline across those who have published at least five papers. The selection is based on the top 100,000 by c-score (with and without self-citations) or a percentile rank of 2% or above. The scientists are Professor Terence Seemungal, Professor Hazi Azamathulla, Dr. Sephra Rampersad, Professor Christopher Oura, Dr. Mandreker Bahall, Dr. Rajiv Dahiya and the late Professor Dave Chadee. 

These database rankings are globally recognized and are based on an analysis of data available in the Scopus database which is itself the standard for extracting bibliometric data for researchers worldwide. The list ranks more than 180,000 researchers within 22 scientific disciplines and 176 subfields, in an objective and transparent process. The process takes into account various measures of citations that a researcher receives as a single, first, or last author, including total citations and the Hirsch h-index metrics. The database is updated every year and hence - there are additions and subtractions every year. 

UWI St. Augustine Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal, Professor Brian Copeland, in congratulating his colleagues, pointed out that while the selections are personal achievements for UWI scientists, it is synonymous with The UWI’s wider impact. “When these are considered in conjunction with the 2021 Times Higher Education institutional ranking of The UWI in the top 2.5% of the best universities globally, further confirm the strategic leadership and stewardship of The UWI, its scholastic research output, and advocacy,” he added. 


Notes to Editor: 

More about the selected UWI St. Augustine Scientists 

1.      Professor Terence Seemungal – Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences. His professional career has been focused on teaching and research with a particular interest in pulmonology, infectious diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and obesity. In 2017, he and his team completed the first National Study of Chronic Lung Disease. He is a member of The UWI COVID-19 Task Force, set up in 2020 to leverage the University’s knowledge and experts so as to assist the Caribbean in its readiness and response to the virus outbreak. 

2.      Professor Hazi Azamathulla – Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering. His research interests are in the fields of water resources engineering physical hydraulic model studies and hydroinformatics and climate change. He is a member of the editorial board of several high ranked Journals including the Journal of Water Science and Technology, Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, Journal of Pipeline Systems Engineering – ASCE (2009~13) and the Dam Engineering Journal. He is also the Associate Editor of the journal of hydrology (Elsevier). 

3.      Dr. Sephra Rampersad – Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry the Faculty of Science and Technology. Her research Interests lie in the application of molecular ecology tools for studying population genetics and genetic diversity; the innovation, development, and assessment of molecular approaches for pathogen characterization; the innovation and development of biochemical methods for bioactive compound screening; and characterization of plant diseases and pathogen profiling and identification of epidemic-associated factors affecting plant diseases. 

4.      Professor Christopher Oura – Professor of Veterinary at the School of Veterinary Medicine. He leads a ‘One-Health’-based research programme concentrating on zoonotic and animal pathogens of importance within the Caribbean region and is also a member of The UWI COVID-19 Task Force. He is also running a Climate Change and Health Leaders Fellowship programme. His research interests are in Veterinary Virology, Veterinary Haemoparasitology, Population Genetics, One Health. 

5.      Dr. Mandreker Bahall – Associate Lecturer at the School of Medicine and UWI Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business. His expertise is in internal medicine and cardiology. His research interest focuses on patient satisfaction expanding to the quality of life of patients with cardiac diseases with and without depression, access to public health care and equity, methods for mitigating issues in the Trinidad and Tobago healthcare system relating to overcrowding and lastly emphasizing patients as a comprehensive whole with their individual psychological and social needs as opposed to simply treating their illnesses. 

6.      Dr. Rajiv Dahiya – Director of the School of Pharmacy and Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. His main research interests are in synthesis and biological evaluation of complex natural cyclooligopeptides by solution-phase technique; preparation and pharmacological screening of amino acid and peptide derivatives of heterocyclic and other aromatic compounds; and design and synthesis of amino acid/peptide-based prodrugs. 

7.      The late Professor Dave Chadee was one of the world’s foremost experts on vector-borne diseases and the Aedes aegypti mosquito. A renowned Entomologist and Parasitologist, and an expert in vector-borne diseases, his work positively affected the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the world. He led research into mosquito-spread diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever, and malaria and most recently, the Zika virus. His work on mosquitoes guided the development of mosquito traps, new disease surveillance systems, and new control strategies.


About The UWI 

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region. 

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world. 

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). In the latest World University Rankings 2022, released in September 2021, The UWI moved up an impressive 94 places from last year. In the current global field of some 30,000 universities and elite research institutes, The UWI stands among the top 1.5%. 

The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean, it is also in the top 20 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action. 

For more, visit

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