UTech President, Errol Morrison to Present Lecture on "Genetics, Dietetics, Athletics and Diabetes" at International Fora



Professor the Hon. Errol Morrison, OJ, President, University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) and world-renowned expert on diabetes has been invited to two prestigious international fora at which he will present lectures on his hypothesis,"Genetics, Dietetics, Athletics & Diabetes: Is there a link?"

Prof. Morrison’s hypothesis seeking to provide an explanation on the scientific underpinnings governing why Jamaican’s run so fast, has been gaining widespread international attention and interest and is of particular global significance leading up to the Summer Olympics to be held in London.

Prof. Morrison was recently awarded the prestigious 2011 Hellmut Mehnert UN/UNESCO Award for the Prevention of Diabetes and its Complications presented at the 21st World Diabetes Congress of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) held in December 2011in Dubai, United Arab Emirates at which he presented a lecture on , "Genetics, Dietetics, Athletics & Diabetes: Is there a link?"

Prof. Morrison has been invited by the National Sports Academy of Sofia to its XVI International Scientific Congress on “Sport, Stress, Adaptation,” to be held from May 17 – 19, 2012 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The Congress is intended to present a forum for highlighting current and relevant issues in the Olympic sport and sport for all – the research, the new scientific achievements and the specialized projects in sports science, as well as to outline the future challenges facing researchers all over the world.  President Morrison has also been invited by the “Korea Foundation” through the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to make a presentation at a specially organised forum on the field of Sports and Development to be held May 21 – 26 in Korea.  During his visit, Prof. Morrison will be received by the University of South Korea with which he will cement strategic alliances between that university and UTech, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to explore opportunities for collaboration for mutual benefit.

Prof. Morrison will make presentations on “Genetics, Dietetics, Athletics & Diabetes:  Is there a link?” at these prestigious fora at which he will expound on the hypothesis, that in addition to genetics, a diet rich in the steroids phytosterols and phytates which are derived from tuber crops, such as yams, may act as a stimulus for improved “anaerobic/sprint performance as well as increased muscle power.” 

Prof. Morrison posits that in addition to the introduction of these staples into the diet from an early age, the Jamaican sprint success/phenomenon is also related to the formative and sustained involvement in a competitive training programme for the effective development of the said muscle mass.  “Added to this proposed facilitatory metabolism, is the well designed preparative and competitive training curricula which begin in infant schools and continue throughout all levels of the education system to national representation in Jamaica. This physical stressor enhances the response of early developing muscle tissue to phytosterol/phytate stimuli,” he said.

He also noted that “the possible role of phytosterols and phytates in influencing blood sugar levels must not be overlooked,” as research has shown that these steroids which are insulin resistant can also “act as a predisposing factor for diabetes mellitus” later in life. 

President Morrison continues his research work in the area.