A Marketer, Entomologist, Ophthalmologist and Data Science Expert are among the newest Professors at The University of the West Indies (The UWI). The University’s Office of Administration is pleased to announce the promotion of nine academics to its highest rank: ‘Professor’. The cohort earned promotions following a rigorous assessment process that includes an evaluation of the quality and quantity of their research, publications, as well as other professional contributions to the enhancement of the University’s reputation.
The newly appointed Professors whose promotions took effect from May 2023 are Professor Oswald Peter Adams, a family medicine physician from the Cave Hill Campus; Professor Gunjan Mansingh, a data science expert; Professor Lizette Mowatt, an ophthalmologist and vitreoretinal surgeon; Professor Trevor Smith, a marketer; and Professor Jean Williams-Johnson, an emergency medicine physician from the Mona Campus and Professor Rajiv Dahiya, a pharmaceutical specialist; Professor Ayub Khan, an entomologist; Professor Abraham Mwasha, an engineer; and Professor Reisha Rafeek, a dental surgeon from the St. Augustine Campus.
More about the newly appointed professors:
Professor Oswald Peter Adams
Outgoing University Medical Dean and Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the Cave Hill Campus, Professor Oswald Peter Adams has been praised for conducting world-class clinical research to solve real-life primary healthcare issues.
His clinical research focuses on aspects of chronic noncommunicable diseases and sexually transmitted infections relevant to the practice of Family Medicine. In 2011, Professor Adams and colleagues established the Eastern Caribbean Health Outcomes Research Network (ECHORN), a first-of-its-kind regional research network, generating action-oriented research on chronic disease and supporting policy translation. This network expanded to be part of the Yale University Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centre (Yale-TCC). ECHORN and its cohort projects gained international recognition through the Team Science Award of the Association for Clinical and Translational Science of the USA and UWI recognition through the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in International Collaboration. Through his work with the Yale-TCC, he conducted research on diabetes prevention in people with prediabetes. Professor Adams has been awarded over US $1.8M in research grant funding for work with ECHORN and Yale-TCC.
Other work includes publications on obesity perception, neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease in people with diabetes, and the quality of care and barriers encountered in delivering diabetes and hypertension primary healthcare. His research on chlamydia infection in Barbados led to the introduction of PCR testing, which was not previously available in Barbados.
Professor Adams served as Coordinator of undergraduate and postgraduate Family Medicine teaching from 2000 to 2015 at the Cave Hill Campus. He pioneered the introduction of web conferencing technology (like Zoom) in 2006, which allowed teaching to be conducted by distance and the expansion of Family Medicine teaching to the Eastern Caribbean. He was an author on the publication Family Medicine at The University of the West Indies: A Model for the Developing World. The external assessors conclude that this paper can be a template for the rest of the developing world. As University Medical Dean, he has recently led the Faculties of Medical Sciences across The UWI through successful reaccreditation of their flagship MBBS programme.
Professor Adams chaired the Editorial Board of the West Indian Medical Journal and was a Guest Editor of the British Journal of General Practice Open Journal. His outstanding publication record includes 44 refereed articles in international journals. He has presented papers at over 50 conferences and has made presentations to the Pan American Health Organization, Quebec Family Physicians and to the Caribbean College of Family Physicians.
Professor Gunjan Mansingh
Professor Gunjan Mansingh is the former Head of the Department of Computing in the Faculty of Science and Technology, The UWI Mona Campus. Her research areas span data mining, machine learning, decision support systems, knowledge management, and expert systems. One assessor noted that “this variation reflects expertise and an ability to navigate research across several domains.”
She has demonstrated high quality in her collaborative research, teaching and graduate supervision record. Professor Mansingh’s research supervision portfolio includes 20 graduate students supervised. Since completing her PhD in 2009, she has supervised/co-supervised five PhD students, two of whom were awarded the degree with high commendation. Professor Mansingh has published 58 refereed publications, including 30 peer-reviewed conference proceedings, 10 book chapters and 18 papers in peer-reviewed journals including top 10 journals in the field such as Information Sciences, Information Systems Frontiers and Decision Support Systems. Professor Mansingh has also coauthored the book, Business Intelligence for SME’s: An Agile Roadmap for Sustainability (2019). She is also a co-editor of Knowledge Management for Development: Domains, Strategies and Technologies for Developing Countries.
Under her leadership, she and her team in the Department of Computing designed postgraduate programmes in Applied Data Science (Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and Masters). The positive and value-added feedback from colleagues, students and employers bare evidence of the impact of these programmes to the overall value in developing the Data Science discipline at The UWI.
Professor Mansingh was responsible for establishing the UWI-NCB Agile Talent Laboratory in the Department of Computing in collaboration with the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM). Funds acquired through the initiative stand at over JA $38 million to date.
Professor Mansingh is a member of the steering committee of the CARICOM Girls in ICT Partnership. She is co-chair of JamCoders a four-week free residential coding camp for 50 high school students with the lead sponsor being Chronixx. Her public service also includes current Chairmanship of eGov Jamaica Ltd., Vice-President – Innovation and Education of the Jamaica Digital and Technology Alliance (formerly Jamaica Computer Society), and current membership on the Board of Directors of the Jamaican National Financial Group Limited.
Professor Lizette Mowatt
Professor Lizette Mowatt is a Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreoretinal Surgeon. Her research is directly applicable to improving patient care and has significantly impacted guidelines for ophthalmic care for diabetic retinopathy and pediatric ophthalmic diseases.
She graduated from The UWI, Faculty of Medical Sciences with a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). She holds a Masters in Medical Sciences from University of Wolverhampton and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.
Professor Mowatt has taught at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels at The UWI and University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) since returning to Jamaica in 2004, and was instrumental in implementing the six-year DM Ophthalmology programme that year. She has headed the Ophthalmology Division of the UHWI since 2011, and has been the Programme Coordinator for the Ophthalmology residency programme with 10 graduates to date.
She is also an examiner for the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (FRCOphth) examination. In 2013, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) awarded her the International Ophthalmologist Education Award. In 2015, the AAO again recognised her work with the International Scholar’s Award.
She has 49 publications in scientific journals. Her research interest is in retinal vascular disease—including diabetic retinopathy. She has had over 1300 citations of her peer-reviewed published work. She has written three book chapters (with over 10,000 downloads). She has been a reviewer of several high-impact ophthalmic journals, including the British Journal of Ophthalmology, British Medical Journal, Survey of Ophthalmology and Eye (Scientific Journal of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists). She presented more than 110 lectures at local, regional, and international scientific conferences and has organised over 30 scientific conferences in Jamaica and the region.
Professor Mowatt’s research interests lie in studies related to vitreoretinal pathology, emphasizing on diabetic and sickle cell retinopathy. Assessors note that one of Professor Mowatt’s most cited research studies is computer vision syndrome. “This carefully performed original research study demonstrates the prevalence, importance, and impact of vision diseases in students.”
She is a Commissioner for The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health and Editor of the textbook, Essential Ophthalmology for the Medical Student and Physician.
Professor Mowatt has collaborated with international agencies, including the Flying Eye Hospital (ORBIS Int) and the VISION 2020 Links programme (London School of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine) to improve training and educational opportunities for ophthalmologists, residents, nurses, and allied ophthalmic workers. Working with the VISION 2020 LINKS programme, she started Jamaica’s first nurse-led Diabetic Retinopathy Screening (DRS) centre at the UHWI. She has also worked with the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) in the initial training and assessment of their screener-graders for the island-wide delivery of Diabetic Retinopathy Screening.
She has secured over JA$32,000,000 in donations to improve the Ophthalmic Division’s resources at the UHWI through networking and developing relationships with international agencies.
She has held leadership positions both locally and regionally, including the President of the Ophthalmological Society of the West Indies (OSWI) (2012-2014) and the President of the Ophthalmological Society of Jamaica (OSJ) (2015-2019). Since 2019, Professor Mowatt has been Co-chair of the National Technical Working Group (NTWG) on Eye Health at the Ministry of Health & Wellness, Jamaica.
She is the first Professor of Ophthalmology and the first female surgeon to be a Professor at The University of the West Indies.
Professor Trevor Smith
Professor Trevor Smith has lectured in Marketing and Research Methods at The UWI Mona Campus’ Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) since 2007. His areas of academic specialisation include marketing, consumer psychology, management and research methods. A UWI alumnus, Professor Smith holds a BSc (Hons.) from the Mona Campus (1983), an MBA from Barry University, Florida (1993) and a DBA in Business Administration from Huizenga Business School, Nova Southeastern University, Florida (2007).
Professor Smith’s excellence in scholarly productivity, record of distinguished original work is evidenced in 30 peer-reviewed publications with focus across marketing and consumer behavioural themes. In addition, he produced 16 technical reports and 14 academic conference papers and presentations. He has presented his research nationally and internationally. He is the author of two books: Marketing Effectiveness and Accountability In SMA: A Multimethodological Approach (2022) is the first of two authors of Compulsive Buying: The Roles of consumer traits, self-regulation and marketing ethics (2021).
On reviewing Professor Smiths’ portfolio one assessor said “It is remarkable that Dr. Smith has been so productive as a scholar while also serving the University and Business School in other important ways.” This was in reference to his other duties such as lecturing 15 different courses at The UWI in 16 years (three doctoral level, eight master’s level and four undergraduate level) and serving as Unit Head for ten years. In addition to his own scholarly work, he has supervised/co-supervised six DBA/PhD candidates, several MSc theses and other research papers. Professor Smith has been recognised for his research by several awards including the UWI Mona Principal’s Award for Best Research Paper in the Social Sciences (2017) and the Mona School of Business and Management Star Award for Best researcher three times; 2014, 2015 and 2019.
His public service has included his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Conservation Trust Fund of Jamaica (2019 to 2021).
Professor Jean Williams-Johnson
Professor Jean Williams-Johnson has a long record of accomplishments as a leader in the advancement of Emergency Medicine as a specialty within the Caribbean. She served as Residency Programme Director from 2005 to 2021, during which over 50 physicians graduated from the Mona, DM Emergency Medicine programme. In 2017 she was recognised for outstanding service as Medical Director, to the Emergency Medicine Division, at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Mona Jamaica.
Her qualifications include a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry/Chemistry (1980), MBBS (1986), MSc (2000) and DM in Emergency Medicine (2001) from The UWI Mona, a teaching fellowship from the American College of Emergency Physicians (2008) and a PGDip in Medical Education from the University of Dundee, Scotland (2019).
As an Emergency Physician and researcher, she is especially interested in sickle cell disease, geriatric emergencies, hypertension, toxicology and trauma management.
Among her distinguished record, Professor Williams-Johnson has published 44 peer-reviewed journal articles, 28 abstracts and a book chapter in the Tintinalli textbook of Emergency Medicine, on Sickle cell disease and other hereditary haemolytic anemias. Professor Williams-Johnson has participated as site Principal Investigator in several multi-country clinical trials including MODUS (2018), a clinical trial of Sevuparin and EPIC (2014) a clinical trial of poloxamer 188, investigations of medications to shorten pain duration in persons with sickle cell disease. She was the site Principal Investigator for CRASH2 ‘Clinical Randomization of an antifibrinolytic in significant haemorrhage’ a landmark multi-country trial that established as the standard of care the early use of tranexamic acid for victims of trauma. She has also supervised 17 postgraduate research projects.
Her work has included collaboration with Wayne State University, which led to a memorandum of understanding with The UWI, which facilitates students and faculty accessing online and face-to-face educational opportunities. She received a Fulbright Scholar Award for the Americas in 2010, undertaken at Wayne State University.
Professor Williams-Johnson is a member of professional associations including the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Medical Association of Jamaica and the Jamaica Emergency Medicine Association. She serves as a reviewer for various journals and is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Emergency Medicine.
Her public service includes work with the Caribbean Poison Information Network, the Jamaica Association of Sports Medicine and the Westwood Old Girls Association. She regularly contributes to university life and has served as Deputy Dean of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Mona Campus.
One assessor surmised that “she has contributed to building the specialty of emergency medicine through innovative circular design, in developing and running clerkships, the introduction of organised specialty societies and boards, and advocacy for the care of emergency patients.” She is a founding member of the regional training committee in Emergency Medicine; a cross-campus UWI initiative.
For her work, Professor Williams-Johnson was awarded the Mona Campus Principal’s Award for Most Outstanding Research (2014). She has made history as the first graduate of The University of the West Indies DM in Emergency Medicine to be appointed Professor.
Professor Rajiv Dahiya
Professor Rajiv Dahiya has had a long and distinguished career in Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry at the University and national levels – in India and the Caribbean. His biggest impact has been in peptide synthesis and bio evaluation, but he has successfully integrated this with natural product chemistry and clinical evaluations. As an enthusiastic staff member and Former Director of the School of Pharmacy at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, St. Augustine Campus, Professor Dahiya is actively involved in the design of the ‘Laboratory of Peptide Research and Development’ which will engage PhD candidates and provide post-doctoral training to enhance the research skills of young pharmacy graduates and the overall research capacity of the school.
Professor Dahiya has published 65 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 11 in other journals, 14 book chapters, and contributed to three patents. From these, he has more than 2114 citations, an h-index of around 26 and i-10 index of 76. Assessors have determined that “His research and output have high scientific impact, providing him with significant international standing and recognition.” Also, that his “professional activities and contribution in his field are significant and include an excellent record of supervision of postgraduate PhD and MPharm students.” Professor Dahiya has received several awards for his work including the FMS Most Productive Researcher Award (2019), Caribbean Distinguished Pharmacy Researcher Award (2021) from the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists, Jamaica. Professor Dahiya remained among top 2% of Researchers in Pharmaceutical Sciences discipline globally in a database published in PLOS Biology Journal authored by academics from Stanford University, USA from 2020 to 2022.
Professor Ayub Khan
Professor Ayub Khan is a recognised expert in Entomology/Crop Protection and specifically biological control and sustainable pest management of insect and mite pests in Trinidad and Tobago, and the broader Caribbean region. He has extensively researched biology and management of stored product insect pests particularly the cowpea weevil, Callosobruchus maculatus, an important pest of legumes using naturally occurring chemicals with possible insecticidal and repellant properties. According to his assessors, such work has important implications for expanding the number of available options for chemical control and for managing resistance to existing synthetic insecticides. His work on classical biological control, particularly of pink hibiscus mealybug Maconellicoccus hirsutus, and the development of fungal entomopathogens for sustainable pest management, are particularly impactful.
During his long and productive scholarly work programme, he has mentored an exceptional number of students including direct research supervision for 69 graduate researchers.
From 1997 to 2009 Professor Khan served as the Curator, Insect Collection for The University of the West Indies Zoology Museum. This unique collection houses approximately 50,000 insect specimens collected over a period of more than a century – with specimens dating back to 1908 (Pre Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture [ICTA]).
Professor Khan is a fellow of both the Royal Entomological Society, UK and the Entomological Society of India. International and regional distinction in his research is evidenced by 68 peer-reviewed publications, over 50 conference and seminar papers and eight book chapters with three additional at press on biological control and other natural crop protection methods for insect pests in the Caribbean. He has conducted several consultancies for regional governments and research collaboration with other institutions including The Davey Institute, USA and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Professor Abraham Mwasha
Professor Abraham Mwasha is described as the academic champion of utilising alternative and natural materials and methods for construction works in support of sustainability and which seeks to offset the negative impacts of construction activities. Since 2006, he has lectured in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering at The UWI, St. Augustine Campus. He has served as first examiner and research project supervisor for BSc, MSc, MPhil programmes including 30 MSc/MPhil and seven PhD candidates.
Professor Mwasha is the author of Practical Guide to Green Technology for Ground Engineering (2011). His record also includes six book chapters, 65 peer-reviewed articles, 30 conference proceedings and several important technical reports including the ‘CARICOM Energy Efficiency Building Standards’ (2019). His publications are high-quality and represent important contributions in Construction Materials and Structures. One assessor commenting on his research said “The most outstanding is his exploration of the full replacement of cement with expanded polystyrene (EPS) waste in the mortar used in masonry construction. Cement is the binder and most expensive component in concrete and mortar. Any attempt to replace it partly or fully will bring about drastic reduction in the cost of construction.” He played key role in developing Green Engineering Syllabus for the Caribbean Examination (CAPE). From Professor Mwasha was appointed as the Green Engineering programme Chief Examiner for six years (2016 to 2022).
Professor Mwasha has received research grant funding valued at TT $850,000 for his work. This has included funding awarded by the Trinidad and Tobago Government to research the use of vegetable Fiber Geotextiles (2007).
Professor Reisha Rafeek
Professor Reisha Rafeek’s contribution to the evolving fields of dental education and restorative dentistry has been considerable. She obtained her BDS from Guy’s Dental School, University of London in 1990, and MSc in Conservative Dentistry (with Distinction) from the Eastman Dental Institute, University College London. Since 1994, she has lectured at the School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medical Sciences at The UWI, St. Augustine Campus, and has been active in research and publication. Professor Rafeek’s research themes have centered around undergraduate dental education, dental material science, restorative dental techniques, and oral rehabilitation. Most recently, her research has focused on the oral microbiome and its role in oral diseases.
Professor Rafeek has published 34 peer-reviewed journal articles, one book chapter and 16 abstracts in mostly international dental specialty and regional journals on topics ranging from dental materials, oral microbiology, and education. She has made 26 oral and poster presentations at international research conferences, contributes as peer-reviewer for multiple journals, and was appointed to the editorial board for Scientific Reports in 2015.
One assessor describes Professor Rafeek as a “devoted teacher and talented researcher.” Since 2003, she has served as the Coordinator for the Restorative Dentistry Unit’s nine courses. She has also dedicatedly performed didactic, laboratory and clinical supervision of third, fourth and fifth-year dental students and dental school interns, and was involved in training over five hundred dentists. She has supervised two Master’s projects; one with the University of Liverpool and the second with the University of Trinidad and Tobago. She has also been awarded a Fellowship in Dental Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons of England (FDS RCS) in 1999 and a Fellowship of the International Academy for Dental-Facial Esthetics (FIADFE) in 2018. She is the first female Professor of Dentistry at the St. Augustine Campus.
Professor Rafeek’s professional and public service includes her former roles as Vice-Chair of the Statutory Body Dental Council of Trinidad and Tobago (DCTT), Continuing Education (CE) Officer, Trinidad and Tobago Dental Association (TTDA) and six years as an Executive Member of Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Medicine and other Health Professions (CAAM-HP).