What institutions did she attend?

  • Antigua Girls’ Preparatory School, Antigua
  • Antigua Girls’ High School, Antigua
  • Antigua State College, Antigua
  • University of the Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands– BSc in Biology
  • University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), USA– PhD in Anatomy, Cell Biology and Injury Sciences

Other Achievements

  • Women of Strength Award, Baker University, 2007
  • Distinguished Faculty Award, Baker University, 2006
  • 2000 Outstanding Scientists of the 21st Century Award for her research in Microvascular Physiology, 2002
  • Course, Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement Grant, National Science Foundation, 2001

FUN FACTS:

She struggled with mathematics during secondary school, but by consistent work she was able to master it.

 

A licensed foster parent, she cares for young children in need of a temporary place to live.

Charmaine Henry (Date of Birth: 22nd July 1964)

Caribbean Women in STI

Dr Charmaine Henry is a biologist and physiologist who has advanced knowledge and training in the field of biology as well as in the specialised area of physiology. Her major contribution to physiology has been showing how the dense network of molecules on the inner surface of the lining of our blood vessels (called the glycocalyx) protects the vessels from injury. Damage to the blood vessels can lead to cardiovascular disease, which is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Understanding this improves the ability of scientists and doctors to treat and prevent vascular problems which result from a disrupted glycocalyx. Dr Henry’s research in this area was funded by the American Heart Association and has been published in internationally recognised scientific journals including Microvascular Research and American Journal of Physiology. She has also co-written a book chapter on capillary barrier functions after injury.

Another area of her research is tissue regeneration in Lumbriculus variegatus, the California black worm. This small aquatic worm is able to regenerate portions of its body that have been fragmented. If the tail breaks off, for example, a completely new tail will grow in about three weeks. Regeneration of the new tissue involves many changes at the molecular and cellular level. By gaining a better understanding of animal tissue regeneration and the factors that inhibit or promote it, it is hoped that insights may be gained into similar processes that might occur in the regeneration of human tissues, following an injury.

Dr Henry is Associate Professor of Biology at Baker University in Kansas, USA where she teaches immunology, biology, physiology and anatomy. She has been contributing to science curriculum improvement across the university and, in 2009, she received the Baker University Kopke Teaching Innovation grant to implement a new teaching technique in her Human Anatomy & Physiology courses. This innovative new teaching technique allows students to respond anonymously to questions in class using a small hand-held device. This alleviates emotional barriers to participation which hesitant students may feel, and helps with uncovering misconceptions that may exist among members of the class. The discussions that follow can lead to an increased level of interaction in the classroom and enhance the students’ understanding of the topic.

Charmaine Henry was born on 22nd July, 1964 in Five Islands Village, Antigua. Her love of science began at an early age as she was captivated by the natural world, which she spent a lot of time exploring, both outdoors and in books. Her fascination with technology led her to take apart old transistor radios to explore their inner workings.

Her advice to students is, “Do not be afraid to ask questions and search for answers. Be punctual for school, pay attention in class, and complete all your work carefully. Most of all, do not give up if a subject seems difficult at first. Be diligent in striving for your goal.”


CAREER INFORMATION

What is a physiologist?

A physiologist is a scientist who is concerned with the functioning of organisms – humans as well as animals and
plants. Physiologists study the functioning of an organism’s systems to diagnose problems and figure out ways to reduce negative effects on, or restore function to, the organism.

Areas of Specialisation

  • Cardiac physiology
  • Clinical physiology
  • Exercise physiology
  • Human and animal physiology
  • Plant physiology

What do I need to study?

At CSEC and CAPE: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics

At the undergraduate level, students should major in any of the sciences, or choose a liberal arts major that has a scientific focus. Taking many different types of science courses will help with identifying which branch of physiology is preferred. Postgraduate degrees will focus on a chosen specialty.

What skills and traits do I need?

  • Team-work
  • Effective communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Good self-management
  • Ability to think logically and concentrate intently

Famous Physiologists

  • Claude Bernard
  • Ivan Pavlov
  • Linda Buck
  • Eduardo Krieger
  • Robert Berne