Innovation, Science & Technology award 2017 winner

Professor Meena Upadhyaya OBE has worked in medical molecular genetics since the discipline’s infancy. She was recognised as the 1st female British-Indian professor in medical genetics in the UK.

Meena completed a fellowship with the Royal College of Pathologists in 2000, becoming one of the 1st people to do so in the field of medical genetics. Her research career focused on many genetic disorders, especially neurofibromatosis type I and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. She was involved in identifying the genetic mutations responsible for these 2 diseases and developed tests to aid in the diagnosis of these and approximately 20 other genetic diseases. Over her career, she authored more than 200 scientific articles and 3 textbooks and received awards from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (2009), the Inspire Wales Awards (2010) and the European Neurofibromatosis Group (2013). She has represented Cardiff at many international meetings. She was a professor at Cardiff University's Institute of Cancer Genetics and directed the All Wales Medical Genetics Service Research and Development Laboratory until her retirement in 2014, thereafter serving as an honorary distinguished professor at Cardiff University. She is currently chairing an evaluation committee for the external assessment of a large French medical genetics centre.

Meena  is also a passionate  advocate for women of ethnic minorities; she founded the Welsh Asian Women Achievement Awards now known as Ethnic Minority Welsh Women Achievement Association and Ethnic Minority Women in Welsh Healthcare and has served as a Mentor on Dame Rosemary Butler’s Women in Public Life scheme. She is a trustee for Women’s Equality Network for Wales, Race Equality First, Race Council Cymru, governor for India Centre and is represented on the Race Equality Charter Mark (Cardiff University). Meena has made a difference to people’s lives through her medical research and her community/charity work and received an OBE in 2016 for "services to medical genetics and the Welsh Asian community".

Meena completed a fellowship with the Royal College of Pathologists in 2000, becoming one of the 1st people to do so in the field of medical genetics. Her research career focused on many genetic disorders, especially neurofibromatosis type I and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. She was involved in identifying the genetic mutations responsible for these 2 diseases and developed tests to aid in the diagnosis of these and approximately 20 other genetic diseases. Over her career, she authored more than 200 scientific articles and 3 textbooks and received awards from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (2009), the Inspire Wales Awards (2010) and the European Neurofibromatosis Group (2013). She has represented Cardiff at many international meetings. She was a professor at Cardiff University's Institute of Cancer Genetics and directed the All Wales Medical Genetics Service Research and Development Laboratory until her retirement in 2014, thereafter serving as an honorary distinguished professor at Cardiff University. She is currently chairing an evaluation committee for the external assessment of a large French medical genetics centre.

Meena  is also a passionate  advocate for women of ethnic minorities; she founded the Welsh Asian Women Achievement Awards now known as Ethnic Minority Welsh Women Achievement Association and Ethnic Minority Women in Welsh Healthcare and has served as a Mentor on Dame Rosemary Butler’s Women in Public Life scheme. She is a trustee for Women’s Equality Network for Wales, Race Equality First, Race Council Cymru, governor for India Centre and is represented on the Race Equality Charter Mark (Cardiff University). Meena has made a difference to people’s lives through her medical research and her community/charity work and received an OBE in 2016 for "services to medical genetics and the Welsh Asian community".