Back to Top
Close Menu

Centre for Biosecurity Studies

Dr. Kirk Douglas

Dr. Kirk Douglas


Department: Centre for Biosecurity Studies


Dr. Kirk Douglas is a professional senior scientist recognized both regionally and internationally for impactful scientific research in the fields of microbiology, infectious diseases, biosecurity, virology and zoonoses. He has earned a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Microbiology (2001), a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) degree in Microbiology (2007) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Medical Microbiology (2020) from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados. In addition, he holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with Merit Honours (2019) from Warwick Business School (WBS), University of Warwick, United Kingdom.

Dr. Douglas commenced his career as a summer student in the Virology Department at the Hospital for Sick Kids, Toronto, Canada (2001), then upon returning home to Barbados, he worked as a Veterinary Laboratory Technician at Veterinary Services Laboratory, Ministry of Agriculture, Barbados in 2001, before moving on to an international medical device manufacturer in Barbados from 2002 until 2019. There his role grew from the sole quality assurance (QA) Microbiologist to Senior Microbiologist, managing the Micro-Laboratory and junior laboratory staff while developing methods and strategies for improving product quality and process yields.

With over 16 years work experience in the medical device industry, he has successfully led several critical regulatory audits by international organisations including the United States Food & Drug Administration (US FDA), the British Standards Institute (BSI) and the Korean Food & Drug Administration (K FDA). His initiative and innovation were exemplified in his industry leading work to reduce endotoxin contamination levels in the intraocular lens (IOL) medical device manufacturing process which was instrumental in gaining FDA approval for several medical device products made in Barbados. In addition, he has led several initiatives to minimize product scrap and poor quality in intraocular (IOL) manufacturing processes resulting in significant corporate savings and increased profitability.

His research in the fields of infectious diseases, biosecurity and virology started as an undergraduate at UWI Cave Hill involving a summer field research project on wild rats with Professor Paul Levett, which led to his first publication as a co-author, the first report of serological evidence of hantavirus infections amongst humans and rodents in both Barbados and the Caribbean (2002). He entered an international student exchange program at UWI Cave Hill (2000) to complete the final year of his B.Sc. in Microbiology degree to undertake virology courses at the University of Toronto (Canada). After successfully graduating with a B.Sc. in Microbiology (2001) at UWI Cave Hill, he pursued an M.Phil. in Microbiology investigating avian influenza or ‘bird flu’ virus, and West Nile virus (WNV) infections in Barbados. This resulted in publishing the first report of the isolation and genetic sequencing of ‘bird flu’ viruses from migratory waterfowl species in the Caribbean, and a risk assessment of WNV entry into Barbados. As a result, he was offered the opportunity to be featured in UWI’s CHILL News publication (2007)s, as ‘bird flu’ infections in humans spread worldwide. He has served on a regional committee responsible for developing an avian influenza or ‘bird flu’ surveillance network in the Caribbean through CARIBVET, a regional animal health network involving several global agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

He then successfully completed his Ph.D. (Medical Microbiology) degree at UWI (Cave Hill) (2020) simultaneously with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at Warwick Business School (WBS), University of Warwick, UK (2019). His doctoral research led to several novel findings of viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF) viruses present in Barbados, and the Caribbean including dengue virus, orthohantaviruses, arenaviruses and cowpox viruses. He has authored multiple peer-reviewed scientific papers in the fields of microbiology, virology, biosecurity, infectious diseases and zoonoses which have received almost 100 citations.