Department of Microbiology
University of the West Indies, Mona Campus
| THE RESEARCH FOCUS OF OUR LAB:
1. Immunometabolism in HIV-infected people with non-communicable diseases
Despite highly effective treatment modalities, most people living with HIV will have shorter lifespans than HIV uninfected people. Many of these people living with HIV will develop diseases associated with aging, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Immunometabolism is closely linked to inflammation and may be critical to the development of age-related diseases. We use multiple approaches to examine the intersection of immunometabolism, inflammation, and chronic non-communicable diseases.
2. Mosquito-borne arboviruses circulating in Jamaica
Mosquito-borne arboviruses are important causes of morbidity and mortality in the tropics, but are oftentimes understudied in developing countries. Using serological and molecular biology techniques, together with clinical data, we assess the prevalence of pathogenic arboviruses and the diseases they cause in Jamaica. In addition to assessing the host, we also examine pathogenic human arboviruses in the vector using cell culture, molecular biology and next generation sequencing techniques.
3. Sexually transmitted infections in Jamaica
Sexually transmitted infections are a substantial cause of morbidity worldwide and can dramatically increase the risk of HIV transmission and acquisition but there is limited information regarding the sexually transmitted infections that are currently prevalent in Jamaica. Using culture and molecular biology, we examine the causes of genital discharge in Jamaicans attending sexually transmitted disease clinics and assess the prevalence of antimicrobial resistant Neisseria gonorrhea.
4. SARS-CoV-2 surveillance and the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination
SARS-CoV-2 continues to rapidly evolve, affecting transmission and morbidity and mortality. We use next generation sequencing to monitor SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in Jamaica. In addition, utilizing our clinical laboratory experience, we assess antibody responses after SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination and examine population level humoral immunity to guide public health responses.