Research Week Hero
Mobile Hero for Research Week

November 3-5, 2021

Scientific Discovery. Applied Solutions. Real-world Impacts.


Ross Vet Research Week is an annual, campus-wide event designed to elevate and amplify the diversity of research and scholarship across our key stakeholders including faculty, students, alumni, industry, government, and the wider community. Research Week activities are open to all Ross Vet students, faculty, and staff to attend, regardless of research involvement or competition participation.



Tracy Challenger


BSc, DVM, MSc, Director, Ministry of Agriculture, St. Kitts

Dr. Challenger completed her BSc in Zoology & Botany at UWI before enrolling into the DVM program at RUSVM.  It was while employed as the Chief Veterinary Officer, St Kitts, that Dr. Challenger began the MSc by Coursework in One Health. Dr. Challenger was amongst the first graduates from the One Health program and now, as the Director of the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Challenger shares with us her views on how One Health provides the framework for engaging a targeted, multidisciplinary approach to shaping local and regional policies aimed at enhancing food safety and food security in St Kitts and across the wider Caribbean Region.   

Stuart LaPlace


Founder/Proprietor of Green Leaf and Director of St. Kitts-Nevis Bureau of Standards

Mr. LaPlace is currently serving as the Director of St. Kitts- Nevis Bureau of Standards. His background includes Degrees and certifications in Biology BSc (Canada), Biotechnology Cert. (USA) and Project Management MSc. (UK). He has a very extensive career in Plant Technology where he served as a Senior Lecturer for Science at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College for over a decade. Mr. LaPlace is a published author in Hydroponics and General Biology to which he attributes six (6) publications. He is an innovator 

Rania Siam


M.B.B.Ch., Ph.D., Course Director and Professor of Microbiology

Professor Siam holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the faculty of medicine, McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She earned an M.B.B.Ch. from Ain Shams University, Faculty of Medicine. Siam held several post-doctoral positions in the McGill Oncology Group, Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She also held positions at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratories, and The Scripps Research Institute, Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, La Jolla, CA, USA. She also a visiting scholar at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA, Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research and Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Before joining UMHS Dr. Siam was the Chair of the Biology Department at the School of Science and Engineering, The American University in Cairo. Siam served as the chair of the biology department from 2012-2018. Prior to this she was the founding director of the Biotechnology Graduate Program from the time it was founded in 2007 until 2012. Siam has been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in Microbiology and Molecular and Cell Biology.

Dr. Siam's research interests lies in exploring the environmental communities residing in harsh environments in the Red Sea to discover drugs and enzymes with unique pharmaceutical and biotechnological applications. Over the last 10 years she managed to secure over 7 million USD is external funding to support her group The Red Sea Marine Microbiology Research Group, and establish a molecular biology and genomic research facility. Siam served as thesis supervisor for over 35 M.Sc. Biotechnology students and and 6 Ph.D. Biotechnology students. She has published over 45 original peer reviewed science articles.

Dr. Leighton Naraine


PhD, MA, BA, Director of Employee and Programme Development, Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC)

Action research has been Dr. Naraine’s main strategy to transform science into action through policy, planning and implementation strategies. He entered the climate change arena in 2005 at the launch of “UNESCO Decade of Climate Change Education for Sustainable Development” and has continued to serve as a member of the St. Kitts-Nevis National Commission for UNESCO and became an expert on the UNESCO Technical and Scientific Advisory Group (Uruguay Headquarters) for Bioreserves and Geoparks. 

Some recent major projects he planned and implemented were: 
1.    Non-traditional agricultural systems for Caribbean Schools on the “Transfer of knowledge in science and engineering and the promotion of innovations and entrepreneurship” – OAS funded. 
2.    Sustainable Cities Course, 13th Edition, with participants from several St. Kitts-Nevis sectors, the Caribbean, and Latin America – OAS funded.
3.    Diversified-Integrated Farming Model: “Optimizing the Use of Farm and Non-Farm Waste to increase Productivity and Food Security” and the “Transitional Funnel Model of Farm Sustainable” – privately (self) funded.
4.    Disaster Risk Reduction Education Program (for replication in Latin America and the Caribbean) – USAID-Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance funded.

Melvin James


Agricultural Development Advisor, Former Director of the Ministry of Agriculture, St. Kitts

Mr. Melvin James is the former Director of the Ministry of Agriculture in St. Kitts, serving from 2015 until 2021. He received his diploma of agriculture from the Guyana School of Agriculture before completing his BSc and MSc in Agriculture from the University of the West Indies at St. Augustine, Trinidad. Mr. James’ goal is to contribute to the sustainable development of St. Kitts and Nevis and to the wider Caribbean, particularly through pest management to sustain the value of the region’s agriculture and economies.


You can be part of research that affects animal and human health on a global scale. At Ross Vet, we nurture academic exchange, where you will have access to distinguished faculty and research projects that aim to solve real-world problems.

Uncover your passion for research. Learn more about available student opportunities.