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UWI Mona’s Cardiac Simulator goes into commercial production

Research to become centerpiece of transformational agenda at UWI Mona
The University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona Campus is expected to earn revenues and global recognition as a centre for innovation, after signing a contract with a North American Company for the commercial production of its celebrated Cardiac Simulator innovation.
 
The announcement was made by newly installed Principal of The UWI Mona campus, Professor Archibald McDonald who took the opportunity to outline a transformational agenda for the Mona campus at his Induction Ceremony on October 29th at Mona. 
 
The simulator, which is regarded as a unique innovation in cardiac surgery education utilizes a pig's heart which is very similar to a human heart in most respects, and makes it move as if it is alive and beating and has artificial blood flowing through it. The heart is connected to computer software, inclusive of simulated vital signs monitor. The simulator allows the heart to beat in synchrony with the vital sign traces being displayed on the monitor.
 
The innovation was developed by Professor Paul Ramphal formerly of The UWI Mona Department of Surgery, Mona with Dr. Daniel Coore of the Computing Department and Dr Michael Craven.  The simulator was developed because of challenges faced in providing local medical trainees with the experience they would require to conduct open heart procedures in high-volume centres such as the UK, Canada and the US owing to the low number of open heart procedures done in Jamaica. 
 
Principal McDonald said every machine will have a label which identifies The UWI as the inventor.  He further said the partnership is expected to earn revenues for the University, but that its real value is in its potential to enhance the global reputation of UWI Mona as a world class centre for research and innovation.
 
Professor McDonald thanked the inventors, Professor Ramphal and Dr Coore, and also expressed gratitude to Dr Beverly Pereira, legal advisor who ensured that the interests of the university are protected.
 
The new Principal, in outlining the focus of his administration, said the repositioning of UWI Mona’s research enterprise will become the centrepiece of his transformational activities at Mona.  He said the Office of Sponsored Research, which is being re-organised to lead the new direction, will support research from idea to completion, including writing of the research papers and assisting with the commercialisation of the intellectual property where appropriate.  Principal McDonald said the Office will also ensure that limited funds and resources are directed to those projects that have commercial value, as well as those that have the potential to contribute to Jamaica’s social and economic development.  “In all our Faculties, our research will complement our teaching in meaningful ways, not just in words,” he emphasized.
 
He further declared that under his watch, The UWI Mona Campus will focus on research projects that are aligned to national and regional development. Professor McDonald said these research projects will be often indistinguishable from business activities and will require partnerships with public and private entities.
 
Professor McDonald is the 13th Principal of The UWI Mona Campus. He succeeds Professor Gordon Shirley who has been seconded to the Port Authority of Jamaica. The new Principal’s Induction ceremony was attended by UWI Chancellor Sir George Alleyne who presided, Vice-Chancellor, Professor E. Nigel Harris; Chairman, Mona Campus Council  The Hon. Dr.  Marshall Hall; Minister of Education, Rev the Hon  Ronald Thwaites; Principal of The UWI St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago, Professor Clement Sankat; Principal of The UWI Cave Hill in Barbados, Sir Hilary Beckles; Deputy Principal of the Mona Campus, Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa among other dignitaries.  Read the Full text of the Prinicpal's Speech HERE.

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