Dr. Anselm Hennis is the Director of the Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization. In this capacity, he provides strategic leadership to the Organization’s program to reduce the burden of ill health and disability due to NCDs in the Americas.
A Barbadian national, Dr. Hennis studied Medicine at the Mona Campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI), graduating with several honors. He was awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinical Epidemiology Fellowship to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London, where he obtained his MSc (1992) and PhD (1997) degrees. He also qualified in Internal Medicine (MRCP (UK) and FRCP (London); FACP). He joined the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the Cave Hill Campus, UWI in 1996, and was later appointed Senior Lecturer at the Chronic Disease Research Centre (CDRC) and then Director (2006). In 2008 he was promoted to Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology. Professor Hennis worked extensively with the Barbados Eye Studies led by Stony Brook University, New York, and was subsequently appointed Research Associate Professor. Dr. Hennis has collaborated on several NIH- funded grants on studies of eye disease, diabetes in pregnancy, prostate cancer, and population genetics. He has published over 110 peer-reviewed articles. Professor Hennis’ efforts led to the establishment of a national surveillance registry in Barbados for stroke, heart attack and cancer and he has won several awards for his research contributions including the UWI Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research (2008), and the Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence in Science and Technology (2013). Dr. Hennis served as Scientific Secretary to the Caribbean Health Research Council, and acts as an advisor to the Healthy Caribbean Coalition, a regional Caribbean NGO working in the area of non-communicable diseases.