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Cambridge varsity announces Nigerian professor 7th president

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The University of Cambridge has announced a Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience, Ijeoma Uchegbu, as the seventh President of Wolfson College, one of its 31 colleges.

This was made known in a statement titled, “Wolfson elects Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu as the College’s 7th President on the University’s website.

Uchegbu, who will succeed the current President, Professor Jane Clarke, on October 1, 2024, is known for her ground-breaking work in nanoparticle drug delivery.

The Nigerian professor currently lectures at University College London.

The statement read, “We are delighted to announce that Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu, a ground-breaking nanoscientist, has been elected as Wolfson’s seventh President.

“Professor Ijeoma Uchegbu, a Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience known for her ground-breaking work in nanoparticle drug delivery, will become the 7th President of Wolfson. She will succeed the current President, Professor Jane Clarke, on 1 October 2024.

“Professor Uchegbu is currently a Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanoscience at University College London. Her pioneering work on the mechanisms of drug transport has led to the development of new treatments which promise to transform pain relief, including the enkephalin pain medicine candidate (EnveltaÔ), designed to address the opioid crisis.

“Her work has won her numerous awards, fellowships and accolades, and she holds positions on several academic boards and councils including the Wellcome Trust, the Academy of Medical Sciences and is an honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

“She has also played a leading role during her time at UCL as Pro Vice Provost for Africa and the Middle East, in forging new research partnerships in those regions and as UCL’s Provost’s Envoy for Race Equality, steering the organisation’s race equality agenda.

Responding, Uchegbu said, “I am so thrilled to be joining Wolfson College, an ambitious and forward-thinking College.

“It will be an honour 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 realise their ambitions and potential.”

Meanwhile, the current President, Professor Clarke, said, “I congratulate Ijeoma for being elected President of Wolfson College. If she finds being the leader of the ‘Wolfpack’ half as rewarding as I have, then I can assure her that she will enjoy herself immensely.”

Uchegbu was raised in South East Nigeria and Hackney. She completed her pharmacy studies at the University of Benin in 1981 before attending the University of Lagos to obtain her master’s degree.

After returning to the UK, she studied postgraduate work at the University of London, earning a PhD in 1997. Alexander (Sandy) Florence, the Dean of the School of Pharmacy, supervised her dissertation. From 2002 to 2004, she worked as a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde.

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