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Monday, April 15, 2024

Nigerian woman emerges as University of Cambridge president, sets record

A Nigerian woman named Ijeoma Uchegbu has emerged as the president of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Ijeoma is a Nigerian-born Professor of Pharmacy at University College London who was appointed as the seventh president of Wolfson College, a constituent college of the University of Cambridge.

She is also the Chief Scientific Officer of Nanomerics, a pharmaceutical nanotechnology company specializing in drug delivery solutions for poorly water-soluble drugs, nucleic acids, and peptides. Ijeoma is also a Governor of the Wellcome, a large biomedical research charity.

Ijeoma in an interview on Arise TV, said she commenced her pharmacy studies in 1981 at the University of Benin, after which she pursued her Master’s degree at the University of Lagos before moving to the United Kingdom for her PhD due to infrastructure limitations.

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After returning to the UK, I9jeoma said she had her postgraduate studies at the University of London, earning a PhD in 1997 under the guidance of Alexander (Sandy) Florence, the Dean of the School of Pharmacy.

“I have been working in this field for about 30 years. So, for me, after a life in science and many discoveries, we have some medicines that we are making based on the discoveries that we made. So having this leadership position gives me an opportunity to give back because science has been very good to me,” she said.

”And academia, too, has been very good to me. I feel that now is the time to give something back because many people were very kind to me when I was growing up. So I would like to create an environment where people can thrive as well,” she added.


Speaking about her professional achievements, Ijeoma said the proudest moment in her life was when she became a professor. She added that she had faced a lot of challenges being a single mother of three children at the time she started her PhD at the age of 30.

She stated that she is excited about the appointment as she would use the opportunity to assist students in realizing their potential and goals. “I am so thrilled to be joining Wolfson College, an ambitious and forward-thinking College,” Ijeoma said

”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,” she said.

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