Dr. Sephra Rampersad:

Dr. Rampersad currently teaches Biochemistry at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine campus and has been at the institution for 16 years. She holds a BSc. and PhD in Biochemistry and has several post-doctoral trainings from the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and The Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, France. Her research interests include the application of molecular ecology tools for studying population genetics and genetic diversity. She also has a focus on the innovation and development of molecular approaches for pathogen characterization and the isolation of indigenous microorganisms of industrial value.

Dr. Rampersad stated that she was attracted to the novelty of the experimental design involved in this type of work as it required the development of new techniques and tools to study microorganisms and the application of bioinformatics in understanding how these organisms function and co-exist.

Recently she was recognized as among the top 2% of scientists who publish in her field of research in the world based on Scopus citation analysis.

In 2005, Dr. Rampersad obtained a Postdoctoral fellowship to study virus-resistant transgenics at the ICGEB’s Biosafety outstation in Treviso, Italy. This was a newly built outstation at that time and she was among the first post-docs to be placed there. She worked for 2 months on determining the feasibility of a Two-Hybrid Screening (Y2H) for Developing Virus-Resistant Transgenic Plants using in silico modelling. She also attended a workshop on the evaluation of scientific data in Biosafety and Risk Assessment for the Environmental Release of GMOs. Dr. Rampersad also attended the 2nd ICGEB Trieste Alumni Annual Meeting in Trieste, Italy where she presented her findings on the utility of the Y2H system. Her experience at the ICGEB broadened her understanding of the nature of international collaborations, and exposed some of the unique challenges post-docs must face in new labs.

Contact Information for Dr. Rampersad: