Nigerian Professor, Ijeoma Uchegbu Becomes Cambridge University President

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

She is set to assume the role on October 1, 2024, succeeding the current President, Professor Jane Clarke.

Presently serving as a Professor of Pharmaceutical Neuroscience at University College London (UCL), Professor Uchegbu hails from South East Nigeria and Hackney. She initiated her pharmacy studies at the University of Benin in 1981 and pursued her master’s degree at the University of Lagos. Facing infrastructure challenges, she couldn’t complete her doctorate in Nigeria.

Upon returning to the UK, she engaged in postgraduate studies at the University of London, culminating in a PhD in 1997 under the supervision of Alexander (Sandy) Florence, the Dean of the School of Pharmacy. Following this, she worked as a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde from 2002 to 2004.

Professor Ijeoma’s groundbreaking research into drug transport mechanisms has not only led to the development of innovative treatments promising a transformation in pain relief but has also given rise to the enkephalin pain medicine candidate, EnveltaÔ™, designed specifically to address the challenges of the opioid crisis.

Her visionary leadership and extensive academic experience position Professor Ijeoma to significantly influence the future of the college.

She has previously advocated for the establishment of a diverse and inclusive educational environment, fostering an atmosphere where individuals from various backgrounds can flourish.

Professor Ijeoma’s outstanding work has garnered numerous awards, fellowships, and accolades. She holds esteemed positions on various academic boards and councils, including the Wellcome Trust and the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Additionally, she serves as an honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. During her tenure at UCL, she played pivotal roles, serving as Pro Vice Provost for Africa and the Middle East, establishing new research partnerships, and as UCL’s Provost’s Envoy for Race Equality, actively advancing the organization’s race equality agenda.

Responding to her appointment, she said “I am so thrilled to be joining Wolfson College, an ambitious and forward-thinking College. It will be an honor to lead such a lively, diverse, and engaged student community in an environment where people are stimulated culturally, socially, and intellectually. I look forward to working with the Governing Body, staff, and students to help realize their ambitions and potential.”

Cambridge University believes her appointment will usher in a fresh perspective and a wealth of knowledge that promises valuable contributions to the growth and development of both the college and its students.

In addition, her leadership is set to cultivate a research-intensive atmosphere that nurtures innovation and critical thinking.

According to reports, her unwavering commitment to community engagement and inclusivity seamlessly aligns with the core values of the university.

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