Bioethics and Public Health Research Project Awarded Wellcome Trust Grant

Two St. George’s University faculty members, Dr. Cheryl Cox-Macpherson and Dr. Muge Akpinar-Elci, have been awarded a US $8,000 Wellcome Trust Grant for their research project “Bioethics and Health in the Caribbean: Climate Change” which will investigate perceptions of Caribbean health professionals on the impact climate change is having on the health of residents in the region. Bringing together two medical disciplines – bioethics and public health – this research is a model for the value of cross-disciplinary collaborations.

news akpinar elci“The prestige of working with the Wellcome Trust is immense,” commented Dr. Cox-Macpherson, professor and chair of SGU’s bioethics department. “We are thrilled to have received this grant and hope that our project will start a major dialogue across the region among health professionals, public health professionals, policy makers, and the public.” The research will compare the larger and more industrialized island of Trinidad and the smaller and less industrialized island of Grenada.

Dr. Cox-Macpherson and Dr. Akpinar-Elci, associate professor and track director for environmental and occupational health in the Department of Public Health and Medicine, and director of St. George’s WHO Collaborating Center in Grenada, have already published a research letter in the American Journal of Public Health in 2012 as part of this project. Extensive literature reviews have been completed and will be followed by data collection from focus groups. Their findings are scheduled to be publicized in seminars, symposiums, journals, reports, and via stakeholder consultation.

Named after pharmaceutical entrepreneur Sir Henry Wellcome, the Wellcome Trust, which was established upon his death in 1936, aims to “support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities.” It is one of the world’s largest medical charities, contributing approximately $1 billion to the advancement of medical research. Learn more about the Wellcome Trust here.