No stranger to accolades, Professor Terrence Forrester can add the Order of Jamaica to them.
The down-to-earth researcher was appointed to the Order for sterling contribution to medical research, and the establishment of medical research facilities in Jamaica.
"I tell you it feels good. I am honoured and grateful," he said after the ceremony.
One of his landmark roles was to unify four research units across three University of the West Indies campuses when he spearheaded the formation of the Tropical Medical Research Institute (TMRI).
"I'm working on a new one now, but you'll have to wait for it," he said with a laugh. "I'm just glad that I've been able to set up institutions that have their own culture and are going to outlive me."
But when quizzed as to his greatest achievement, Forrester lauded his colleagues.
"Achievement is being able to lead by following the people that you work with, because it's my colleagues really who build the institutions. I just provided some guidance," he said. "You can't lead by dragging, you lead by following."
Forrester, who has served as an adviser to a number of international health organisations, including the World Health Organization, the Medical Research Council (UK) and the United States Centers for Disease Control, has focused his research on the causes of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. This work has been especially significant in the Caribbean, due to the region's prevalence of hypertension and high death rate from coronary heart disease.
He chuckles that he never expected to be this successful and to be recognised as such.
Forrester also said that having his family members, including his wife Barbara, there to see him be appointed a member of the Order, made it that more special.
"You can't do anything without family. After all, you don't come from nowhere."