UWI public health expert among winners of global team science Award

Dr. Natalie Greaves poses with AC3 Team Award (Photo via The UWI)

(The University of the West Indies Press Release) An interdisciplinary group of researchers who worked collaboratively to address cancer and health disparities in patient populations of African descent, has received the prestigious American Association for Cancer Research Team Science Award for their innovation and meritorious science.

Lecturer in Public Health at The University of the West Indies’ Cave Hill Campus, Dr. Natalie Greaves, was a member of the winning African Caribbean Cancer Consortium Team (AC3). The team, led by Professor Camille Ragin of the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, was recognised for furthering the study of viral, genetic, environmental, and lifestyle risk factors for cancer in patient populations. These factors have demonstrated far-reaching implications for the improvement of cancer etiology, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention in black patient populations worldwide.

On receiving the award, Dr. Greaves stated that she was immensely grateful and humbled by the acknowledgement of the AC3’s contribution to science; and that she was “deeply honoured and privileged to be among a global community of like-minded scholars who continue to aspire to make a difference in the lives of persons impacted by cancer.” She also acknowledged fellow members of The UWI community contributing to the advancement of cancer research through the African Caribbean Consortium namely, Professor Simon Anderson Director, George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre, Caribbean Institute for Health Research (CAIHR), The UWI, and fellow public health experts Drs. Heather Harewood, Waneisha Jones, and Natasha Sobers.

Dr. Greaves shared her elation that transdisciplinary research in the developing world was gaining momentum and she hopes that the AC3 achievement would serve to inspire a future generation of physician scientists and attract funding for cancer research into the region.

The medical sciences lecturer noted that her achievement would not have been possible without knowledge imparted by her science teachers and various academic mentors throughout her career including at The UWI. Dr. Greaves graduated from the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery programme at The UWI’s Cave Hill campus in 2002 with honours in Surgery. Although her start at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown was in oncology, she has spent most of her career providing primary palliative care in Barbados, while also advocating for education and palliative care service delivery throughout the region. Dr. Greaves joined The UWI full time in 2016, and as a Physician Scientist she has concentrated her work in the last five years on noncommunicable diseases, especially cancer.

Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the Cave Hill campus, Dr. Michael Campbell lauded the team’s achievements stating: “The faculty is extremely proud of Dr. Greaves and the rest of the AC3 Team for this remarkable achievement. Their award is testament to the caliber of work by our Caribbean colleagues as key collaborators in global cancer research”.

The 2023 AACR was held April 14-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

About The University of the West Indies

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region for the past 75 years.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

The UWI has been consistently ranked among the top universities globally by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists since its debut in the rankings in 2018. In addition to its leading position in the Caribbean in the World University Rankings, it is also in the top 25 for Latin America and the Caribbean and the top 100 global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old). The UWI is also featured among the leading universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action. 2023 marks The UWI’s 75th anniversary. The Diamond jubilee milestone themed “UWI at 75. Rooted. Ready. Rising.” features initiatives purposely designed and aligned to reflect on the past, confront the present, and articulate plans for the future of the regional University. Learn more at www.uwi.edu

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