Dr. Reeta Gobin MBBS MPhil PhD – Principal Investigator (Guyana)
Reeta obtained her medical degree (MBBS) from the University of Guyana (UG) then proceeded to the University of Cambridge, UK, where she obtained a Masters’ degree (MPhil) and a PhD in Epidemiology. During her time at Cambridge, she also served as a Research Assistant in the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Unit at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, and lectured to Masters’ degree candidates. Some of the academic awards she has received include: Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Scholar, UK Research Councils (RCUK), UK (2009-2012); Honorary Postgraduate Scholar, Murray Edwards (New Hall) College, University of Cambridge (2009-2012); Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholar, University of Cambridge (2006-2007); and Prime Minister’s Medal for Best Graduating Medical Student, University of Guyana(2002).Reeta’s research interests include chronic non-communicable diseases, especially diabetes and cardiovascular disease, individual participant meta-analysis, and genetic epidemiology, and she has several publications in these fields, in journals such as JAMA, Lancet, BMJ and PLoS. She has collaborated with colleagues in the US, Canada, UK and the Caribbean to obtain several research grants, including the UK MRC grant funding the CONTACT Study.
Dr. Troy Thomas BSc MSc PhD – Co-Investigator (Guyana)
Troy holds a BSc Mathematics from UG; an MSc Statistics: Quantitative Analysis in the Social Sciences track (University of Leuven) and an MSc in Development, Policy and Analysis; a Graduate Diploma in Education (Mathematics); and PhD in Comparative Science of Cultures (University of Ghent) with a focus on survey methodological issues. He conducts research on response styles in surveys, with a focus on methods for and approaches to measuring and correcting for response styles while analysing survey responses; technology adoption in education; and social issues including institutional trust and poverty. To a large extent, his work in these areas has been focused on measurement and data analysis issues, and he is the methodologist for the CONTACT Study. In 2019, Troy was elected Dean, Faculty of Natural Sciences, UG.
Ms. Melissa Ramdeen BSocSci MBA – Project Coordinator
Melissa has been the Project Administrator/Coordinator for the Guyana component of the CONTACT Study since 2017. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from UG and a Master of Business Administration, majoring in General Management, from UWI. She has also completed two PAHO/WHO fellowships: Renewal in Primary Health Care and the Leaders in International Health Program. She is currently reading for her MPH. Melissa worked with the Ministry of Health, Regional Services, for nine years in a management capacity. This fuelled her passion to one day pursue a career in Health Administration. Her goal is to contribute towards the improvement of the quality of health care services provided to the people of Guyana.
Dr. Sharlene Goberdhan MBBS – Research Assistant
Sharlene assumed her position with the CONTACT Study shortly after graduating with her MBBS from the University of Guyana in 2016 and is the senior Research Assistant in the Guyana team. She has been passionate about health research since her pre-clinical years in medical school and is currently interested in mixed methods research and health inequalities relating to non-communicable diseases and mental health. Sharlene has obtained a scholarship to pursue an MPH in Health Services Delivery at the University of Sheffield in the UK, commencing September 2019, after which she plans to return to Guyana to continue conducting health research and to help build local research capacity.
Dr. Manoj Sharma MBBS – Research Assistant
Manoj completed his MBBS in 2016, at the University of Guyana School of Medicine, where he developed a strong interest in the intersection between clinical medicine and research. He has since continued the pursuit of both, successfully completing the first stage of the USMLE, while working full-time with CONTACT. Manoj was awarded the 2nd prize for Best Poster at the 64th Caribbean Public Health Agency Conference, achieving a milestone for Guyana and the CONTACT Study. He continues to play an integral part in the implementation and advancement of CONTACT, and aspires to one day improve physician care through evidence-based research and efficient management, thus ultimately improving the lives of all patients in Guyana.
Dr. Olly Perreira MBBS – Research Assistant
Olly graduated with adistinction from the University of Guyana School of Medicine in 2016, after which she was employed for one year as a medical intern at the Georgetown Public hospital Corporation. The sheer patient load and burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) convinced her of the need for prevention through population education and health promotion. This led her to pursue a career in research targeted at programme/policy evaluation and strengthening of the primary healthcare system. In 2019, Olly was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to pursue the MSc in Global Health at the University of Southampton in the UK. Her long-term goal is to strengthen Guyana’s primary healthcare system through population needs evaluation and implementation science.