VOICES Bi-Monthly Magazine of the University of Technology, Jamaica |
August - September 2017
r. Aneisha Collins-Fairclough, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Science
and Sport has been researching the scientific potential of microbial
treatures in Jamaica’s Riverton City Dump.
Since receiving an Instrumental Access shipment of equipment from
Seeding Labs in 2014, Dr. Collins-Fairclough has been harvesting the
microbiological riches of the Riverton City Dump, Jamaica’s largest solid
waste disposal site. She collected water samples with her students from the
dump’s leachate ponds as well as the adjacent Duhaney River, which runs
through residential communities before draining to and potentially polluting
the Kingston Harbour.
By extracting and analyzing DNA from the water samples using
metagenomic analysis, the researcher can identify all of the microorganisms
in the samples, including those present in such small numbers that they
would have gone undetected by conventional methods. Hiding within the
samples will almost certainly be evidence of organisms that are new to
science, having evolved to survive the dump’s extreme environment. Their
unique metabolic capabilities may prove useful for bioremediation, drug
development, or formulation of agricultural chemicals.
Analysis may also reveal dangerous pathogens posing a public health
threat. By understanding the extent to which the landfill is a source of these
disease-causing organisms, Dr. Collins-Fairclough hopes to minimize health
risks to the neighboring community.
The initial phase of Dr. Collins-Fairclough’s project was supported by a grant
from UTech, Jamaica’s Research Development Fund. Dr. Collins-Fairclough
is collaborating with a researcher from the University of Waterloo in Canada
whose work focuses on understanding the diversity and function of microbial
communities in contaminated sites, like municipal landfills.
The collaboration will be enhanced through a Canada-CARICOM Faculty
Leadership Program scholarship awarded to Dr. Collins-Fairclough this
spring. Through a research exchange, Dr. Collins-Fairclough will travel to the
University of Waterloo in January 2018 to perform advanced bioinformatics
analyses of the metagenomics data set from the landfill.
Read full story published by Seeding Labs:https://seedinglabs.org/2017/08/
r. Felix Akinladejo, Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, Faculty of Engineering and Computing recently
presented his research work on “Technotherapy Induced Gains after a Stroke: A Case Study of Post-
Acute Stroke Patients”. The presentation was made on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at the Atana Hotel in
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, during a University of Ibadan, College of Medicine (UICoM) Graduating Class of
1992 conference and reunion involving medical consultants from across the world.
The research work has involved an assessment of the use of computer technology to correct walking
abnormalities in post-acute stroke patients from the Mona Rehabilitation Centre, St. Andrew. Dr. Akinladejo
explained that the study involved “three male patients that had been discharged from Mona Rehab, having
been adjudged to have attained their highest level of functional recovery (i.e., plateau) participated in the
clinical trial of the system.
FOSS Researcher Exploring Microbial Treasures
and Threats in Jamaica’s Riverton City Dump
Research provides hope for “Technotherapy”
Induced Gains for post-acute stroke patients
Dr. Aneisha Collins-Fairclough, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Science and Sport
Cont’d on page 27
Dr. Felix Akinladejo, Associate Dean, FENC