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Faculty Research

The Faculty prides itself in its research activity, as it continues to increase its output each year. There has been a striking increase in the enrolment of graduate students in various MPhil and PhD programmes in the Faculty, and the DM programme continues to be very popular.

The research in the Faculty covers a wide range of topics and disciplines. They include studies on the human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1), now in their twentieth year; research into the major cancers affecting the population, i.e., cancers of the prostate, breast, colon and blood; HIV/AIDS; substance abuse; use of open medical wards for the care of patients with acute psychoses; and the use of music on learning and aggression.

Anticipating an increase in the numbers of elderly patients during the next few decades, studies are being conducted to evaluate treatment modalities for use in elderly demented patients and the economic consequences of this development.

The focus on the HIV/AIDS epidemic is reflected in our publications and in new courses being offered in the curricula.

Collaborative studies between the Section of Surgery and the School of Engineering at the University of Technology resulted in the patenting of an electromagnetic pump which will be used to train practitioners in beating heart cardiac surgery. This invention has been warmly received both locally and internationally.

Funding for the research activities independent of university grants and other support has been in excess of US$10.5 million. To illustrate:

  • The NCI/NIH Bethesda has funded the HTLV-1 project headed by Professor B. Hanchard to the tune of $4 million over the next four years.
  • The survivors of breast cancer awarded US$7000 to the Department of Pathology to pursue studies in this area.
  • The Elizabeth Glazer Paediatric AIDS Foundation, the Jamaican Embassy of the United States (Washington), and Merck and Co. have funded projects of which Professor C. Christie, Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Child Health, has been the principal investigator, in the amount of US$1.7 million.
  • UNICEF awarded a grant of US$120,000 to Dr. M. Samms-Vaughan of the same department to pursue a project aimed at designing a system for screening, referral and early intervention for children at risk in Jamaica.
  • The Environmental Foundation of Jamaica funded a project to develop programmes at the UWI in occupation and environmental safety and health by the Departments of Community Health (Mr. Milton Pinnock) and Chemistry (Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa) in the amount of US$25,000.
  • The InterAmerican Development Bank (IADB), Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, Michigan State and the European Community, donated US$5 million to the Department of Community Health and Psychiatry for study of HIV/AIDS and violence prevention.
  • Grant of US$100,000 was obtained as a result of the joint efforts of the Department of Community Health & Psychiatry and the Ministry of Health to mount a campaign against HIV/AIDS.
  • Research grants totaling US$300,000 were received by members of the Department of Basic Medical Sciences to support their research activities.
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