September 2023 podcast with Meena Upadhyaya

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Our September podcast guest is Professor Meena Upadhyaya OBE PhD FRCPath FLSW. Meena is an Emerita Professor of Medical Genetics at Cardiff University, an honorary Professor of Practice at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, a visiting Professor at Ganga Ram Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research in Delhi and an international advisor for the organisation of rare diseases, India.

She has made substantial contributions to the molecular understanding of genetic conditions, including Neurofibromatosis Type 1 and Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy and published over 200 papers, 26 book chapters and co-edited 5 books. 

She sits on the Royal College of Pathologists Regional Wales Council, the College’s EDI network, European Neurofibromatosis Group. Meena is a trustee and member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Nerve Tumours, UK, and a non-executive director of the Welsh Government Civil Service Board. She has also contributed to the All Wales COVID-19 Workforce Risk Assessment Tool. Meena was awarded the Inspire Wales, the NF European prize, and Saint David Award in Science and Technology. She was cited amongst the top 100 scientists across all major scientific disciplines at Cardiff University in 2023.   

As a founder and chairperson of the Ethnic Minority Welsh Women Achievement Association (EMWWAA) and the Ethnic Minority Women in Welsh Healthcare (EMWWH), Meena is passionate about promoting equality, diversity, inclusion, community cohesion and integration. She recently co-edited Seventy Years of Struggle and Achievement: Life Stories of Ethnic Minority Women in Wales, published by Parthian.

Part 1: Professor Meena Upadhyaya’s life and career

When Meena was growing up in India, she didn’t have an interest in genetics or pathology, or even a plan to pursue an academic career. In part one, find out what changed and how she came to have such a successful and fulfilling career in the UK, all while navigating the challenges of life in a new country and juggling the responsibilities of parenthood. 

Part 2: Professor Meena Upadhyaya's case study

In part 2, Meena talks us through the case of a 25-year-old patient with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). NF1 is one of the most common inherited genetic conditions. It is characterised by the growth of tumours along nerves and changes in skin coloring (pigmentation).