Trinidad and Tobago

St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

Site Institution
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine
Eastern Caribbean Health Outcomes Research Network (ECHORN)

U.S. Institution
Yale Schools of Public Health and Medicine

U.S. Based Mentor

Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS
Associate Professor of Medicine (General Medicine); Core Faculty, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program; Faculty, Global Health Leadership Institute; Associate Professor of Public Health (Chronic Disease Epidemiology)


Local Mentor
Rohan Maharaj, MB, BS, MHSc, DM, FCCFP
Lecturer in Primary Care and Coordinator of the UWI Family Medicine Program

Research focus
Non-Communicable Diseases (Diabetes, Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease)

Site and Background
The training site is located at the University of the West Indies, St-Augustine, one of four partnering institutions along with Yale University in the Eastern Caribbean Health Outcomes Research Network (ECHORN). The University of the West Indies (UWI), St-Augustine has a strong track record of producing research and interventions that focus on emerging health problems in the Caribbean. Areas of research include non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Drs. Maharaj and Nunez-Smith independently are Principal Investigators (PIs) on several grants but collaborate on a U24 grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. This grant is designed to collect epidemiologic data on non-communicable diseases in 4 Eastern Caribbean islands. Current sites are the University of Puerto Rico, UWI-St. Augustine, UWI-Cave Hill and the University of the Virgin Islands. Presently, ECHORN supports the training and development of nine (9) post-doctoral and junior research faculty located across the four partnering institutions, Yale University and George Washington University.

1. ECHORN will recruit and follow a community-dwelling adult cohort (N=5500) to estimate the prevalence of known and potential risk factors associated with the development of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The site in Trinidad is responsible for collecting data from approximately 1700 adults. The site will collect baseline and biennial data on self-reported measures such as environmental exposures, health behaviors, knowledge and attitudes, medical family history, healthcare access and utilization, and clinical outcomes. Additionally, it will establish a biological samples repository that will help facilitate future genetic and biomarker testing to identify early predictors of disease.

2. ECHORN will enhance health outcomes research leadership capacity in the region through a series of dedicated and learner-centered activities both locally and abroad.

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