a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - February 4, 2009 - New Diabetes Research

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Dr. Carlisle Goddard, CEO of the Barbados Diabetes Foundation
Dr. Carlisle Goddard, CEO of the Barbados Diabetes Foundation

PRMR Inc./February 4, 2009/

The Barbados Diabetes Foundation is undertaking a research project to determine the influence of genetics in the development of kidney and eye disease among diabetics.

The research trial, which has been approved by the ethics committees of both the University of the West Indies and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, will involve approximately 500 adult Afro-Caribbean Barbadian patients with diabetes.

It is hoped that the research will offer an insight into the role played by heritage (genetics) in the development of diabetes-related disease of the eyes and of the kidneys. Any definitive conclusions emerging from the study could form the basis for personalized approaches and novel therapies for the management of Diabetes Mellitus.

Individuals volunteering to participate in the trial will be asked to make two visits to the Foundation’s offices, located in the Belleville Medical Centre. At the first visit, they will be interviewed by a trained nurse and given a detailed account of the implications of the trial. They will then be asked to sign a consent form if they are in agreement with the tenets of the research.

At the second visit they will be asked to give relevant historical information which the Foundation will maintain under confidential conditions. Blood and saliva samples will also be taken to carry out the diagnostic and DNA studies.

Dr. Oscar Jordan, Chairman of the Barbados Diabetes Foundation
Dr. Oscar Jordan, Chairman of the Barbados Diabetes Foundation

The Diabetes Foundation’s Dr. Oscar Jordan and Dr. Carlisle Goddard, have partnered with Motif Biosciences, a biotechnology company based in New York, as principals of the study.

The Foundation is also in the planning phase of establishing a dedicated multi-purpose diabetes clinic where private family doctors and nurse practitioners will gain invaluable experience in best practice guidelines and protocols in the area of diabetes management. Persons living with diabetes are also expected to benefit significantly from this exercise.

About the Barbados Diabetes Foundation
Since the establishment of the Foundation five years ago it has been very active in promoting and bringing attention to the area of Diabetes Mellitus both locally and regionally. Some of its programmes include-the training of specialist nurses in the care of diabetes; the production of radio and television educational programmes and the organization of the Global Village for World Diabetes Day.

About Motif Biosciences
Motif Biosciences is a renowned biotechnology company with a strong interest in population genetics, seeking to identify the genetic causes of diabetes and other major diseases by studying genetic material from populations across the world. They have indicated that Barbados, as an island population, has many advantages for genetic studies, and offers a unique opportunity to discover genetic markers of benefit to the society.