Prof Hennis is a Barbadian Professor of Medicine (UWI) and a medical research scientist who has done path-breaking work in the areas of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases and eye-related disease (glaucoma) in the region. He has also pioneered epidemiological surveys like the setting up of a national registry in Barbados to record the incidence of stroke, cardiovascular disease and cancer in that country.
Prof Hennis heads the Chronic Disease Research Centre, Tropical Medicine Research Institute of UWI’s Cave Hill campus in Barbados, where he also teaches medicine and epidemiology. He is Deputy Dean of research in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at that campus, a research associate professor at Stony Brook University in New York, and a consultant physician at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados.
A prolific researcher, Prof Hennis has attracted more than US$ 25 million in grant funding over his career. Some of his recent major studies include: the USA-Caribbean Alliance for Health Disparities Research (2011), the Barbados Salt Study (2010), the 1000 Genome Project (2009), Novel Inflammatory Factors and Disease Activity in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (2009), “The Health of the Nation”, a baseline survey of chronic disease in Barbados (2008).
His research has had a significant impact on healthcare policy throughout Barbados and the region. Recently, the work of the global study of Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes has led to the development of guidelines for the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. Outside the academe, he holds positions in various public service organizations. He is a director of the Hope Foundation in Barbados, which is dedicated to improving the lives of persons affected by Lupus and Sickle Cell Disease. He is also a member of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, a civil society alliance dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles in the region.
Prof Hennis also participates in public education programmes via the popular media in Barbados. He contributes to international groups including the WHO/PAHO Expert Group for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention through Population-wide Dietary Salt Reduction, and is on the Editorial Committee of the Diabetes Atlas of the International Diabetes Federation.
Prof Hennis has published over 100 scholarly papers in peer-reviewed journals and has been widely recognized for his work. Some of his recent awards include: UWI’s Outstanding Achievement in Research and Best Applied Research Project (2010); the UWI’s School of Clinical Medicine & Research Award for Outstanding Research (2008); one of UWI’s “60 under 60” Awardees (2008); UWI’s Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence (2008), and the inaugural
Principal’s Award for Research Excellence (2005).