Cambridge University College announces Nigerian Professor, Ijeoma Uchegbu as next president

Ijeoma Uchegbu, a Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience known for her ground-breaking work in nanoparticle drug delivery, has been announced as the 7th President of Wolfson College, one of the 31 colleges of the University of Cambridge.

She will succeed the current President, Professor Jane Clarke, on October 1, 2024. 

Prof. Ijeoma Uchegbu is a Nigerian-British Professor of Pharmacy at University College London (UCL), where she also served as the Pro-Vice Provost for Africa and the Middle East.

She was the Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Nanomerics, a pharmaceutical nanotechnology company that develops innovative drug delivery solutions for poorly water-soluble drugs, nucleic acids and peptides.

She was also a Governor of the Wellcome Trust, a leading biomedical research charity, and a member of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Council.

Prof. Uchegbu obtained her B.Pharm degree from the University of Benin, Nigeria, her M.Pharm degree from the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and her PhD degree from the University of London, UK.

She started her academic career as a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde, UK, where she became a Chair in Drug Delivery in 2002. She joined UCL in 2006 as a Chair in Pharmaceutical Nanoscience at the School of Pharmacy.

Prof. Uchegbu is a world-renowned expert in the field of pharmaceutical nanoscience, with over 200 publications and 25 patents to her name. She has made significant contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms of drug transport across biological barriers and the design of novel polymers that self-assemble into nanoparticles with optimal properties for drug delivery. She has applied her research to various therapeutic areas, such as cancer, brain disorders, gene therapy and pain management.

She has also been involved in several collaborative projects with industry and academia, such as the Raman Nano theranostics project that aims to use gold nanoparticles and light to diagnose and treat diseases.

Prof. Uchegbu is also passionate about public engagement and diversity in science. She has participated in various events and initiatives to promote the benefits and challenges of nanomedicine to the public, such as the Oxford Union Science Debate and the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.

She has also been a strong advocate for increasing the representation and inclusion of women and ethnic minorities in STEM fields, and has received several awards and honours for her achievements and leadership, such as the UK Black Women in Business Award, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Pharmaceutical Scientist of the Year Award, and the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences’ Innovative Science Award. u.

Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu has congratulated Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu, on her election as President of Wolfson College, one of the 31 colleges of the University of Cambridge.

Tinubu in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Ajuri Ngelale, celebrated the outstanding accomplishment and commends Professor Uchegbu for being an excellent ambassador for the country and for her relentless efforts to advance the frontiers of pharmaceutical science.

The statement said, “The President applauds Professor Uchegbu as epitomizing the ingenuity, brilliance, and hard work that are consistently synonymous with the great Nigerian people both at home and abroad.

“While wishing the Nigerian-born Professor more success as she takes on this important role, President Tinubu assures Nigerians in the Diaspora that his administration remains committed to building a robust interface mechanism that harnesses ideas, promotes investment opportunities, and strengthens bonds, in line with his ‘4D Foreign Policy'”

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