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Meet the Faculty

UWI Trained Epidemiologist and Ebola Warrior

Having completed a PhD in Epidemiology at the Cave Hill Campus in 2017, Dr. Angela Rose now holds the globally prestigious position of Senior Epidemiologist for the French company EpiConcept.  

Dr. Rose’s years at the Cave Hill were spent attached to the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre (GA-CDRC).  There, she was not only a PhD student, but a Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology who possessed a Masters in Public Health from a top UK institution and years of high level epidemiological experience with the prestigious British Health Protection Agency and the global renown humanitarian organisation known as ‘Doctors Without Borders’.  
 
When asked to reflect on the GA-CDRC, she points to a Cave Hill centre that has a history of producing an almost continuous stream of ground-breaking and often globally impactful research. Dr. Rose speaks with pride of the Centre’s Director, Professor Alafia Samuels who was recently recognised by Lancet, the world’s premier independent general medical journal for her work done in the treatment of diabetes. She also expressed great admiration for the centre’s resident biostatistician Professor Ian Hambleton, who has published in excess of 80 peer reviewed articles; many of them in top medical and epidemiological journals.
 
For her, perhaps the most impactful of GA-CDRC’s endeavors has been the National (Barbados) Eye Study; since its findings resulted in the change of treatment protocols, not only in Barbados, but in the United States.  Dr. Rose’s own collaborative research with colleagues in the GA-CDRC is reinventing how non-communicable diseases are managed in Barbados.  In recent years these researchers established a national registry for stroke, heart attack and cancer: the Barbados National Registry for Chronic NCD (the BNR), the first multi-NCD registry in the Western Hemisphere. Results from the BNR, initially directed by Dr. Rose, have impacted protocols in the Accident and Emergency at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and propelled the establishment of both a stroke and a cardiac unit.  
 
Fighting Ebola in French
When it comes to Ebola, Dr. Rose has two marks of distinction.  Not only has she fought Ebola in both Gabon (2002) and Guinea (2014) but she speaks French in a world where most outbreak epidemiologists are monolingual North Americans. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Rose is thankful for the time spent living and working in Guadeloupe and Paris that honed her skills in the French language.
 
It would take hours to write all of Dr. Rose’s Ebola stories.  In the Gabon, she  was part of a small team selected to enter the country’s interior after all of the international teams had been forced to leave amidst an atmosphere of distrust, fear and gun violence.  Gabon also meant great responsibility for the then junior Epidemiologist, since the Senior Epidemiologist never arrived from Brussels to make the trip into the interior of Gabon, which is close to the Congolese border. In time, however, the hard work and dedication of Ebola warriors such as Dr. Rose saw the battle in Gabon being won.
 
It was during her stint as a Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology and PhD Candidate in Epidemiology at the Cave Hill Campus that Ebola reared its ugly head again.  Dr. Rose reflects on watching the ferocious outbreak in Guinea with bated breath and a steady litany of reasons why she could not leave her then 14 year old daughter to join the fight.  That was until she heard an urgent call for 24 epidemiologists who could communicate in French.  An overwhelming concern for her fellowman meant that she had no choice but to graciously ask her daughter for permission to go.  
In Guinea, Dr. Rose worked against the clock in the northeast region of Siguiri to contain the outbreak before it spread to the neighbouring country of Mali.  It was close to Christmas 2014 before she was released to leave Guinea to enter the 21 day quarantine period in Geneva, Switzerland managed by the World Health Organisation.
 
From 2017 to the Future
UWI PhD in hand, Dr. Rose was looking forward to spending her remaining years at the Cave Hill Campus, being part of a team that continuously works to combat non-communicable disease through cutting edge action-oriented research. However, at the end of 2017, she was persuaded by her French speaking mentor to take the position at EpiConcept to once again pursue her love for infectious disease epidemiology.
 
Though having no plans to leave her beloved Caribbean, Dr. Rose conceded that the move to France could create additional developmental avenues for her daughter while given her the opportunity to once again be at the forefront of combatting the most deadly viruses known to man. All in all, we at the Cave Hill Campus take pride in yet another graduate poised to make an indelible contribution to the betterment of our world.
 


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