The University of the West Indies (UWI), at Cave Hill, Barbados

The University of the West Indies

at Cave Hill, Barbados

Faculty of Medical Sciences


 
 
          OVERVIEW          

             

The Faculty of Medical Sciences participates in clinical, non-clinical and translational research to inform medical practice and healthcare systems locally, regionally and internationally.  Research in both clinical and non-clinical aspects of the medical disciplines are structured into faculty, undergraduate and postgraduate research activities.  Faculty members’ research are pursued based on areas of expertise and specific interests aligned with the resources and research themes in the faculty.

Undergraduate research is supported and facilitated by the academic department as a part of the undergraduate curricula in the medical and health science programmes. Postgraduate research is undertaken in research based and taught based graduate programmes. Research based programmes (e.g. Doctorate of Philosophy and Masters programmes) exist in disciplines of Medical Microbiology, Immunology, Pharmacology, Public Health and Epidemiology. Clinical based postgraduate research often involves research projects which are part fulfilment of the Doctor of Medicine programmes.

Non-clinical research may involve the ethno-pharmacological evaluation of medicinal plants and their interaction with conventional drugs, factors adjudicating wound healing, exercise physiology and histological research. Clinical research includes case studies, observational and experimental trials in the clinical setting.  Clinical research is bolstered by access to public clinical facilities in Barbados and a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Health, Barbados and The University of the West Indies which facilitates the sharing of resources for the betterment of healthcare provision in Barbados. The Faculty of Medical Sciences also shares a formal relationship with the George Alleyne – Chronic Disease Research Centre (GA-CDRC) which ensures collaboration on research and teaching to build capacity in research and healthcare provision and policy. 

Click here» GA CDRC website.

The FMS has bolstered its resources over the existence of the full faculty (since 2008) to facilitate research at its various geographical sites.  There is a research laboratory at the Cave Hill site, which is approximately 2000 sq ft of generalised and specialised laboratory space.  The laboratory is outfitted with vital core equipment that can lead to bench research in various basic medical science disciplines. Resources in the clinical research arena are bolstered by the FMS access to polyclinics and the island’s main public hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  There is an institutionalised ethics board which is operated by The University of the West Indies and the Ministry of Health.  It reviews all projects which involves the use of human and animal participants/subjects and data collected from such across the island. The faculty has a research and postgraduate committee which is chaired by the Deputy Dean – Graduate Studies and Research.  This committee assesses research training needs and infrastructure to facilitate faculty, undergraduate and postgraduate research.

The research findings from FMS projects have been presented at regional and international conferences, to expand the knowledge base of Caribbean-based research; to inform local and regional health policies, and has led to many international research collaborations.


 
 
 OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES 



The research themes in the FMS are aligned with the category and specific research interests of staff.  There are opportunities to facilitate structured undergraduate research projects which are aligned with level 2 and 3 health science related courses and levels 3 and 4 clinical research courses for medical sciences.  These courses are MDSC2008 – Health Science Research, MDSC3900 - Practical Research for Health and Medical Students and MDSC3200 - Understanding Research which span both programmes. Most of the practical elements of the undergraduate research opportunities are aligned with research expertise and themes within the FMS.  Postgraduate students (both research based and taught masters) are encouraged to pursue research within the confined time of the programme and within the research foci of the faculty.

Non-clinical research areas are primarily in the basic medical sciences.  These include but are not limited to:
  •  Validation of medicinal herbs
  •  Wound healing
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Microbial resistance and typing
  • Acute and chronic inflammation 
 
The clinical and translational research areas are undertaken by staff in the clinical phase and public health unit.  Our broad research areas based on faculty expertise include:
  • Chronic non-communicable diseases
  • Policy evaluation
  • Wound healing and diabetes
  • Healthcare systems and economics of health
  • Clinical audits of disease management
  • Social determinants of health
  • Antenatal health
 
 
     RESEARCH IN PROGRESS     

                     
         » CLICK HERE TO VIEW

 
Contact the Faculty of Medical Sciences
Telephone: (246) 417- 4694/4703/4264 Fax: (246) 438-9170 Email: fms@cavehill.uwi.edu