Building capacity for human genetics and genomics research in Trinidad and Tobago

Allana Roach, Wayne A. Warner, Adana Llanos Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Advances in human genetics and genomic sciences and the corresponding explosion of biomedical technologies have deepened current understanding of human health and revolutionized medicine. In developed nations, this has led to marked improvements in disease risk stratification and diagnosis. These advances have also led to targeted intervention strategies aimed at promoting disease prevention, prolonging disease onset, and mitigating symptoms, as in the well-known case of breast cancer and the BRCA1 gene. In contrast, in the developing nation of Trinidad and Tobago, this scientific revolution has not translated into the development and application of effective genomics-based interventions for improving public health. While the reasons for this are multifactorial, the underlying basis may be rooted in the lack of pertinence of internationally driven genomics research to the local public health needs in the country, as well as a lack of relevance of internationally conducted genetics research to the genetic and environmental contexts of the population. Indeed, if Trinidad and Tobago is able to harness substantial public health benefit from genetics/genomics research, then there is a dire need, in the near future, to build local capacity for the conduct and translation of such research. Specifically, it is essential to establish a national human genetics/genomics research agenda in order to build sustainable human capacity through education and knowledge transfer and to generate public policies that will provide the basis for the creation of a mutually beneficial framework (including partnerships with more developed nations) that is informed by public health needs and contextual realities of the nation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-430
Number of pages6
JournalRevista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health
Volume38
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

  • Ethics, research
  • Genetics
  • Genomics
  • Policy
  • Research
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • West Indies

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