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 (NF1) and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. She has authored more than 200 scientific articles and 3 textbooks and received many awards including the Inspire Wales Award (2010) and the European Neurofibromatosis Association Award (2013) for her outstanding contributions to NF1. 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 and an honorary fellow of the Wales University Trinity Saint David.
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. She was recently acknowledged amongst the top 12 women in Cardiff University over the last 50 years.
In 2017, Meena won the St David Award for Innovation, Science and Technology.