Three UWI academics chosen for international programme on breast cancer research.

by April 25, 2024

Three academics from The University of the West Indies (The UWI) have been selected as part of the first cohort of the Rising Scholars: Breast Cancer Programme, an international breast cancer research initiative for Early Career Researchers (ECRs). The UWI’s Dr. Simone Badal, Dr. Heather Harewood, and Dr. Natalie Greaves are among the 25 researchers chosen from around the world, with the programme focusing on providing opportunities to Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) and underserved communities.

The Rising Scholars programme is designed to promote equity and advance inclusive practices in scholarly research and publishing. The initiative is a partnership between the prestigious Springer Nature, a German-British academic publishing company and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), the world’s largest private funder of breast cancer research aimed at offering ECRs in cancer research with additional resources for professional development and career readiness.

Dr. Simone Badal, from The UWI Mona Campus, is a Senior Lecturer and Anticancer Researcher whose groundbreaking work on cancer cell lines holds promise for unlocking the genetic basis of cancer patterns seen in the Caribbean, with direct potential to inform treatment development.

Dr. Natalie Greaves, from The UWI Cave Hill Campus, is a Lecturer and Coordinator of the MPhil/PhD programme in Public Health and Epidemiology. As a physician scientist her research explores the genetic, lifestyle, and health system factors impacting survivorship and quality-of-life in persons living with a diagnosis of breast cancer.

Dr. Heather Harewood, also from The UWI Cave Hill Campus, is a Lecturer in Public Health and Head of the Public Health Group in the Faculty of Medical Sciences who has a background in health systems management. Dr. Harewood and Dr. Greaves also co-lead the Cancer Awareness and Reality and Experiences (CARE) Project (Barbados) which explored the lived experiences of women with Breast Cancer on the island and informed the design of a parallel project in Jamaica. Both Drs. Badal and Greaves are leaders in a multinational African Cancer Genome Project as part of the African Caribbean Cancer Consortium (AC3). All three researchers Badal, Greaves and Harewood are part of the AC3’s Breast Cancer working group.

Out of a cohort of only 25 researchers worldwide, having three academics from The UWI selected for a prestigious programme highlights the exceptional quality of their scholarship and potential to advance critical healthcare issues in the region.

As part of the prestigious Rising Scholar research programme, the researchers will participate in masterclasses with Nature editors and trainers to enhance their skills in scientific publishing and writing, communicating research to the public, and data sharing and management.