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01 April 2011
An inspirational Cardiff academic who overcame personal hardship to become an international leader in her field, has been recognised for her outstanding achievements.
Professor Meena Upadhyaya of the Institute of Medical Genetics at the School of Medicine has made the shortlist for a coveted Asian Women of Achievement award in the ‘Professional of the Year’ category.
Professor Upadhyaya is internationally recognised in the field of medical genetics, and has improved the quality of life for patients with life-threatening inherited conditions. She has made significant contributions to the development and implementation of mutation detection techniques.
Much of her research has been successfully translated into practical clinical diagnostic services and has led to major improvements in the diagnosis of disorders such as muscular dystrophy and neurofibromatosis.
Professor Upadhyaya’s exceptional achievements in her career are all the more impressive in light of her personal experiences. She was widowed soon after moving to Wales, but decided to complete her PhD and raise her young daughter single-handed, while her family remained in India.
As well as researching and teaching at the University, Meena devotes some of her time to women in the Asian community by offering counseling and advice. She voluntarily coaches children to enter university and is regularly involved with fund raising activities. Her commitment has proved instrumental in raising the profile of Asian women both within University and in Wales.
Professor Upadhyaya said: "Being informed that I was shortlisted as one of the six finalists came as a great surprise but it has certainly been a very uplifting experience. I am pleased because this has not only given me public recognition for my work but has also greatly boosted my self-confidence."
Professor Upadhyaya will discover if she has won the award at a gala dinner attended by royalty, government, and business leaders on May 19 in London’s Park Lane.
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