The University of the West Indies, (UWI) is the leading regional institution for research, training and service provision in the areas of fitness and sports development and in the promotion of education and involvement in these areas. Various postgraduate theses have been completed in different aspects of sports, including cricket and the industrialization of football, sports psychology and nutrition. The UWI, Mona Campus is currently pursuing pioneering research which will help us answer questions concerning the success and failure of our athletes. UWI, Mona will also build on its highly acclaimed reputation in research by targeting areas that will assist in enhancing the performance of athletes, focusing on areas such as bio-mechanics and rates of recovery.
Before 2005, private human deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing was unavailable in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region. Persons wanting independent DNA tests had to seek the service form independent laboratories in the United States or the United Kingdom. To fill this void, the Caribbean Genetics Unit CARIGEN) commenced its operation in June 2005 at The University of the West Indies, Mona as the first and only facility of its kind in the Caribbean to offer such services.
Services and research are at the helm of CARIGEN's operations, providing expertise in DNA testing. Boasting state-of-the-art equipment, the unit is committed to providing the most accurate testing available in the industry, with timely results. Quality control measures are optimum and there is a central flow to minimize any form of contamination. As the region moves towards genetic profiling of athletes, CARIGEN will play a pivotal role.
Is it in the Genes?
Researchers at The University of the West Indies, Mona in collaboration with scientists at the University of Glasgow in Scotland have begun a joint study to determine the role of genetics, environmental factors including nutrition, physical education and other sociological factors in the success of Jamaica's athletes. A part of the study involves DNA testing athletes who participated in the 1948 Olympics right through to the current group of athletes, as well as on ordinary Jamaicans and persons from the Trelawny/Cockpit Country region which has produced many of Jamaica's outstanding athletes.
Assessing Fitness& Nutrition Levels
- The Tropical Medicine Research Institute Health Intervention Research Unit (HIRU), through research in nutrition and other areas, seeks to inform solutions and intervention strategies for adequate nutrition, including that of athletes. This is strengthened by the research work in nutrition by the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute located on the Campus.
- The same equipment and expertise will be available for testing at the professional athlete level and guidance in appropriate nutrition need