Emeritus Professor David Picou, BS, MB BS, PhD, CMT
David Picou, Emeritus Professor of Experimental Medicine, UWI, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, confesses that he initially wanted to be an architect but honoured the wishes of his parents to study medicine. He entered the University College of the West Indies 70 years ago and became a renowned Caribbean health researcher and the first Caribbean and UWI graduate to be appointed Director of the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit, UWI, Jamaica. Professor Picou has also published and lectured extensively on protein metabolism and treatment of severe malnutrition in infants. He led the development and publication of clinical guidelines for the treatment of severely malnourished children in resource-poor countries which was adapted by the WHO and others working in the field for use globally which has saved millions of lives of babies, and young children and adults (1959-1978).
He re-located to Trinidad in 1978 to assume the post of Chairman of the Mt Hope Medical Complex Task Force and Project Manager which implemented this Complex of 71 buildings and structures including a 300-bed adult hospital, a 210-bed children’s and veterinary hospitals; a medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy and advanced nursing schools (1978-1987)
Dr Picou then became the first Director of Research of the Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC), where he promoted medical research in the Caribbean through organising annual medical research meetings and research skills training workshops regionally, a small grants research programme and obtaining substantial funds to conduct research in the region. He has served on the Board of the West Indian Medical Journal and as the Chairman of the CAREC Scientific Advisory Committee and on several international Advisory Committees and as consultant to WHO, PAHO/WHO.
He has lectured at prestigious institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the National Institutes of Health and has received several awards including the Trinidad and Tobago Chaconia Medal Gold for long and meritorious service and recently received a Caribbean Institute for Health Research Award, September, 2019. Professor Picou is also noted for his guidance on ethical issues related to research and served for many years as the Chairman of the CAREC Research Ethics Committee. While he loves Trinidad’s mas and carnival celebrations, Professor Picou appreciates the importance of discipline and focus to achieve desired goals. He brings a pragmatic scientific approach integrated with a unique “joie de vivre‟ to the Board
The Caribbean Med Labs Foundation, based in Trinidad and Tobago, is a non-governmental organisation established in response to a request from CARICOM Ministers of Health in June 2007. The Ministers had requested continuation of the regional effort aimed at building and sustaining the highest quality medical laboratory services.