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The University of the West Indies, (UWI) Mona is pleased to announce the promotion of Senior Lecturer in the Biotechnology Centre, Faculty of Science & Technology, Dr Marcia Roye, to the rank of Professor. The promotion comes in the wake of assessment of her academic accomplishments and contribution to her field.
Marcia Roye holds the Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from The UWI, Mona Campus. She is a highly respected academic who has a distinguished record of original work, having sought to build research capacity at The UWI in the undersubscribed area of molecular virology. She is internationally acclaimed for her work in geminivirus. Geminiviruses are the largest group of plant viruses and have caused substantial crop losses globally, including in the Caribbean. Dr Roye’s research group has characterized over twenty four geminiviruses infecting crops such as red pea, broad bean, tomato, scotch bonnet pepper cabbage and numerouscommonweeds in Jamaica. They have also developed control strategies that can be used in the management of geminiviral infections in the agriculture industry. Additionally, numerous geminiviruses have been characterized for Belize, Barbados, Antigua and St Kitts & Nevis, making this the only research of its kind in some of these countries. Internationalcollaborators include: The University of Wisconsin-Madison, The International Laboratory for Tropical Agricultural Biotechnology, Danforth Plant Science Centre, St Louis, Missouri, The University of Arizona, John Innes Centre, UK, International Potato Centre, Lima, Peru and University of Toronto Mississauga.
Dr Roye has also made a significant contribution in the field of health. The Caribbean region has an HIV prevalence of one per cent which is the second highest worldwide. About 61 per cent of Jamaican HIV patients are treated with antiretroviral drugs. Thedownside using antiretroviral drugs isthatthevirus candevelop antiretroviral drug resistance,whichmeansthatthe HIV drugnolongerkillthe virus. Dr Roye has successfully partnered with the Ministry of Health, The UHWI andThe Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine on a multidisciplinary research project to determine the extent of antiretroviral (HIV) drug resistanceinJamaican patients. The data is useful for managing and improving the treatment of HIV positive patients in Jamaica.
In recognition of these accomplishments, in March 2011, Dr Roye received the prestigious L’Oreal-UNESCO Special Fellowship “InthefootstepsofMarieCurie,” which was the first of its kind. She earlier received a UNESCO-L’Oreal Fellowship for Young Women in Science (2000), Fulbright Fellowship (2003), and the award of the Scientific Research Council/Shell Young Scientist/Technologist award (2000).
In her contribution to the University, Dr Roye has undertaken several administrative assignments and responsibilities. She has served as Head of the Biotechnology Centre, and also as the Faculty of Science and Technology’s Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research. In that capacity, she has worked to transform graduate processes, improving student registration and orientation. Under her leadership six new Masters programmes have come on stream and a number of Faculty initiatives for the holistic development of the graduate students have been initiated, including workshops on thesis writing, plagiarism, stress management and project management.
Dr Roye has enhanced the reputation of the UWI by serving on several national, regional and international boards/committees. She is member of the UNESCO National Commission Science Advisory Committee, amemberoftheadvisoryboardofdirectorsoftheNationalComplianceRegulatoryAuthority and served on the CARICOM Science Technology and Innovation Committee delegation to explore cooperation and collaboration with Cuba. She also played an important role in the development and hosting of annual workshops on ‘Concepts in Genetic Engineering’ for teachers and students pursuing the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination.
The newly appointed professor has served as a member of the American Phytopathology Society; member of the Caribbean Academy of Sciences, as well as member of the Advisory Board of the Society for Scientific Advancement (SOSA) a non-profit organization whose mission is to contribute to the advancement of emerging economies in the Caribbean through science, education, research and development.

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