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The University of the West Indies (UWI) is pleased to announce the promotion of Dr. Ralph Robinson, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences in the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, Mona Campus to the rank of Professor with effect from October 13, 2004.

A native of Northern Ireland, Professor Robinson holds the Bachelor of Science degree with Upper Second Class Honours in Zoology and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from The Queen’s University, Belfast, UK.

Ralph Robinson began his professional academic career in the Department of Biological Sciences at Keele University, UK where he served as a Post-Doctoral Researcher from 1983-1985. He joined the staff of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus in 1985 as Assistant Lecturer in the [then] Department of Zoology. In 1986, he was promoted to Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in 1995. Since 1992 he has also been Adjunct Member of the Wellcome Trust Research Centre for Parasitic Infections at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London.

Professor Robinson is a parasitologist and world authority on stronglyloidosis, an intestinal worm infection of humans and animals that is endemic throughout tropical and warm temperate regions worldwide. He has made significant contributions to the understanding of the genetics, immunology, diagnosis and epidemiology of this infection. His epidemiological studies of this parasite in Jamaica have attracted global interest that has led to productive research collaboration and funding with laboratories of high international repute across the world, most notably those of the London and Liverpool Schools of Tropical Medicine, Imperial College London, University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. He has also conducted studies of parasitic infections associated with HTLV-I infection and HIV/AIDS. More recently, he and his colleagues have undertaken studies of angiostronglylosis, an emerging parasitic disease in Jamaica and other islands in the Caribbean, as well as in the United States, in collaboration with colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA and the University of La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain.

Professor Robinson and his graduate students have also done extensive research to determine the distribution of parasitic nematodes that occur in mongooses, rats and snails in human communities across the island, relating this information to human exposure. His collection of data has facilitated effective risk management and the formulating of management strategies which have helped to minimise the negative impact of these parasites on the health status of Jamaican communities. In 2002, he and his colleagues were awarded Letters Patent in Jamaica for the invention of Medicaments for the treatment of Strongyloides stercoralis infections. Another patent application In vitro bioassay employing laboratory-cultured larvae of Strongyloides stercoralis is pending in the United States.

Professor Robinson has made a significant contribution to the life of the UWI through his involvement in administrative, teaching and research activities. He has served as Head of the Department of Life Sciences and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences. He has also been the member of a range of University committees including the Steering Committee for the Ministry of Education/UWI B.Ed (Distance) Secondary Programme, Board of Directors, Natural Products Institute; the UHWI/UWI Faculty of Medical Sciences’ Ethics Committee and the Academic Programmes Committee of the Mona Institute of Applied Sciences. In addition, he is a Director of the Jamaica Agricultural Development Foundation.

Professor Robinson has taught at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and has supervised or co-supervised three PhD students and nine MPhil students. He has both guided and collaborated with his graduate students on a number of multi-disciplinary projects including studies on emerging parasitic diseases in Jamaica and other islands in the Caribbean as well as in the United States.

He has published more than 100 original articles, conference abstracts, conference proceedings and technical reports in his discipline, his work appearing in highly respected, peer-reviewed international journals in the field of parasitology, tropical medicine and infectious disease. He is a Member of the British Society for Parasitology, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, UK. He has received several awards for his work, including Best Oral Presentation from XIII International Congress of Hydatidology, Madrid, Spain (1985), and Best Publication Award (2001) and Distinguished Scientist Award (2003) from The University of the West Indies Mona Campus, in recognition of Outstanding Research in the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, UWI, Mona.

Professor Robinson is married with two young children. His interests are good parenting, DIY projects, SCUBA diving, astronomy, bush walking, science fiction movies, dogs and cricket.
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