Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is H3EC?
The H3ECaribbean Initiative stands for Human Heredity, Environment, and Health in the Caribbean and was publicly launched in Jamaica on April 8, 2021, with participation from researchers across six Caribbean nations, the US, UK, and Africa.
H3ECaribbean is modeled after the successful H3Africa (Human Heredity and Health in Africa) program envisioned by Dr. Charles Rotimi, Director of the NIH Center for Research on Genomics and Global Health.
What is H3EC’s objective?
H3ECaribbean will advocate for a substantial investment in the health research infrastructure needed to participate in international genomics studies; e.g., biobanks, electronic health records, longitudinal epidemiological data, and cancer registries.
H3ECaribbean’s first goal is to create a white paper to outline a collaborative approach to advancing genomics research in the Caribbean, based on the H3Africa white paper.
Where is H3EC located?
H3ECaribbean collaboration is united across the University of the West Indies and supported by the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS). Its headquarters is physically housed at the Jamaica Cancer Care & Research Institute in Kingston, Jamaica.
What is the mission of H3EC?
The Committee of Deans of The UWI’s Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS) selected H3EC as their signature initiative to celebrate “One UWI” across all medical school campuses.
H3ECaribbean aims to build the health research infrastructure needed to investigate genomic, environmental, and social influences on the etiology of chronic diseases in the region and ensure inclusion of persons from the Caribbean in cutting-edge global health research.
What is the structure of H3EC?
H3EC is structured around 12 Working Groups: Scientific Case for Investment; Establish Biorepository; Bioinformatics Plan; Electronic Health Records (EHR); Education & Training; Prioritizing Study Conditions; Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI); Governance; Public-Private Partnerships; Communications; Environment; JACCRI building.
Who are the founders of H3EC?
H3EC was spearheaded by Dr. Tomlin Paul, Dean, FMS, UWI, Mona, Jamaica, and Alexandra E. Shields, PhD, Director, Harvard/MGH Center on Genomics, Vulnerable Populations, and Health Disparities and cofounder of the Jamaica Cancer Care and Research Institute. They are joined in the effort by more than 70 researchers and clinicians from across the Caribbean.
H3EC’s driving principle is that “Inclusion in the discovery data sets used to develop novel therapies is ultimately about social justice. We need to ensure that persons in the Caribbean benefit equitably from advances in global genomics and global genomics research,” commented Dr. Shields.