LONG-TERM CAREER OBJECTIVES
I. My research goal is to develop novel peptide therapeutics primarily against hard-to-treat bacterial and viral infections. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), with pore-forming selective mechanisms and rapid action against diverse types of pathogens, are an untapped resource with broad-spectrum activity paralleled by no other known group of agents to date. Dissecting the unique role of each motif (cationic vs. hydrophobic) of AMP amphipathic structure in antimicrobial, immune modulatory, and toxic mechanisms will allow optimization of peptide design for enhanced therapeutic indices. As a secondary interest, I would also like to develop more efficient and cost-effective vaccine delivery systems. My second research goal is to investigate the impact of environmental toxicants and antimicrobials on the microbiota.
II. Outside of the laboratory, my passion is education. If you want to eradicate poverty, education is the only sustainable solution. Thus, my goal is to build new schools in Haiti based on the establishment of a self-sustainable system with new curricula and interactive teaching methods designed to enhance Haitian creativity. The intent of this new educational system will not be to necessarily challenge the official Haitian educational system. It will offer an alternative path to educational achievement to essentially compensate for numerous deficits in the current educational system, which will empower young Haitians with the ability to compete at a global level. Once these schools are successfully established, a logical next step would be a world-class university system in Haiti with the potential to attract scholars and students from all over the world. Haitians will have the opportunity to learn in at least 3 different languages: Haitian (the Haitian Creole), French, and English, with the option to also learn Spanish for those planning to choose language as their future career. I hope to build a foundation to raise money to finance this ambitious project. I am now a member of a not-for-profit organization ALPAM GROUP currently addressing the needs of disadvantaged communities, particularly in Haiti. You can visit ALPAM Group website here.
Jean-Jacques Dessalines liberated the Haitian people and founded Haiti in 1804 on the premise that every Haitian has the right to self-determination. Nothing is more consistent with that premise than the access to education.
It is my hope that establishing great schools in Haiti will make it more likely that Haitian scholars in the diaspora will dedicate some time to the professional preparation of future Haitian generations. Wouldn’t it be nice to establish a structure in Haiti for bright Haitian minds abroad to invest 1 to 2 months per year in shaping the minds of young Haitian generations?
Call me an idealist, but every human achievement started with a single idea and someone with a vision. If you were in Haiti more than 200 years ago, you would have thought that this man was crazy as you heard Dessalines say to his fellow humans in slavery: “If the French capture me a hundred times, I will betray them a hundred times; I swear I will make you independent“.The destruction of Haiti began not decades ago, not with the American occupation of Haiti in 1915, not even 2 centuries ago. It began with the assassination of the Haitian Liberator Jean Jacques Dessalines in 1806, just over 2 years after he liberated the Haitian people from the tyranny of Napoleon’s French imperialism and racism. The constitution that defines “Haitian” and Dessalines’ vision for Haiti was later abandoned as the country’s leadership has since sided for the most part with foreign powers to undermine that vision. The Haitian shift from a Dessalinian to a Louverturian model is the single most significant reason for Haiti’s slow and progressive decline in the last 2 centuries and for current dependence on foreign powers to sustain and manage predictable human disasters in Haiti. Yeah, most Haitians would disagree, of course. If they didn’t, Haiti would be on a different path reflecting its power of self-determination!
If you are concerned about Haiti, please leave your comments below…