Nigerian professor is next President of Cambridge University College

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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.

Professor Uchegbu is currently a Professor of Pharmaceutical Neuroscience at University College London (UCL). She 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. Because of infrastructure issues, she was unable to finish her doctorate in Nigeria. 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.

Her pioneering work on the mechanisms of drug transport has led to the development of new treatments that promise to transform pain relief, including the enkephalin pain medicine candidate (EnveltaÔ™), designed to address the opioid crisis. With her visionary leadership and extensive experience in academia, Professor Ijeoma is set to make a profound impact on the college’s future. Her appointment brings a fresh perspective and a wealth of knowledge that will undoubtedly contribute to the growth and development of both the college and its students.

Her work has won her numerous awards, fellowships, and accolades, and she holds positions on several academic boards and councils including the Wellcome Trust, and 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 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.”

Wolfson College University of Cambridge


Professor Ijeoma’s leadership will undoubtedly foster a research-intensive environment where innovation and critical thinking thrive. Moreover, her dedication to community engagement and inclusivity aligns perfectly with Wolfson College’s values. She strongly believes in creating a diverse and inclusive educational environment where individuals from all walks of life can thrive.

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