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The University of the West Indies is pleased to announce the promotion of Dr. Yvette Jackson, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, to the rank of Professor, with effect from May 20, 2004.

Dr. Jackson, a Jamaican, and past student of Hampton School for Girls, holds the Bachelor of Science degree with Upper Second Class Honours in Chemistry and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.

She joined the staff of the UWI in 1983 as Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry and was promoted first to Lecturer in 1984 and then Senior Lecturer in 1998. She also served as Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, USA.

Professor Jackson has a distinguished record of original work. She has established a very fruitful collaborative research programme with the University of Alabama, from which a number of good quality publications have resulted. She has over 30 publications which have appeared in some of the best journals in the chemistry scholastic business. Professor Jackson has also established an international presence not just through her publications but also through participation in some 29 symposia and conferences both locally and on the international scene, on many occasions as invited speaker.

The focus of her work has been on how molecules in general interact with each other to produce new ones.Her current research interests include work on the synthesis and chemistry of rotenoids, important commercial insecticides of plant origin. Some of these are attractive for their potential insecticidal, pharmacological, anti-HIV, and general antiviral and antimicrobial activity.

On the local scene, Professor Jackson has applied her chemical insight and skills to guide the nation’s understanding of the chemical components and development of better practices in the production of some local products. Work on a project sponsored by J.Wray and Nephew Limited led to the first study of factors which influence the maturation of Jamaican rum. The chemical composition of Jamaican rum has also been determined and the effect of aging by traditional and non-traditional methods on these compounds has been investigated.

Another research project, sponsored by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, involved the production of sorghum syrup from local sorghum. Various process parameters were investigated and this has led to the establishment of a technically and economically feasible process for commercial production of table syrup from locally grown sweet sorghum. Her work has therefore minimized the guess work in the formulation of traditional Caribbean products and introduced predictive strategies for the physical behaviour of key ingredients in these products. This has not only improved market access potential and consistency in the products, but it has also contributed to basic molecular understanding of physical properties of mixtures of compounds – a useful and general contribution to the international scientific community.

Professor Jackson’s work has attracted attention at various levels, resulting in several awards. In 2002, she received the award for Best Research Publication in the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences. She was also recipient of the Shell Distinguished Research Fellowship in Science and the Alcan Junior Research Fellowship. Her work has attracted grants from a range of institutions including the Jamaica Agricultural Research Programme, the Third World Academy of Women Scientists, the Third World Academy of Sciences and UNESCO.

She is Regional Editor of the Journal “Molecules”; Referee for papers submitted to the Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology and the Flavour and Fragrance Journal; Scientific Consultant to the Jamaica Branch of Shire Biochem, Laval, Canada and Foreign Research Mentor for the Minority International Research Training Programme at Barry University in Florida. She has also served as Consultant to J. Wray & Nephew Ltd.

Professor Jackson is an active, enthusiastic and innovative teacher and has lectured to students at all levels of the undergraduate programme as well as to graduate students. To date, she has successfully supervised six PhD students and two MPhil students.

Professor Jackson also has wide administrative experience. She currently serves as Sub-Dean for Student Matters in the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences; Member of the Organizing Committee of the Mona Symposium on Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry; Member of the Board of Placement and Career Services, and she has been involved in the UWI Mentorship Programme. She also serves on the Board of Governors of Hampton School.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Member of the Jamaica Society of Scientists and Technologists, Member of the Third World Organization for Women in Science and Member of the Caribbean Academy of Sciences.

Professor Jackson is married (Lloyd) and has two daughters (Dahra and Tracey).
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