Professor Meena Upadhyaya

Elected: 2018

Area(s): Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine & Mathematics

Specialist Subject(s): Genetics, Medicine

Honorary Fellow, University of Wales, Trinity St. Davids; Distinguished Professor (Hon), Cardiff University School of Medicine, Institute of Medical Genetics, Cardiff University

Professor Meena Upadhyaya OBE obtained her Ph.D. from Cardiff University and completed a fellowship with the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) in 2000.

She was a Professor at Cardiff University’s Institute of Cancer Genetics and directed the All Wales Medical Genetics Service Research and Development Laboratory in the post of Consultant Molecular Geneticist until her retirement in 2014.  Her research career focused on many genetic disorders, especially neurofibromatosis type I (NF1) and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. As a Professor, she trained and mentored many students and scientists during her career. As a researcher and scientist, she has made pioneering discoveries, authored more than 200 scientific articles, and 3 books. Meena has received many awards including the Inspire Wales Award (2010), the European Neurofibromatosis Association Award (2013), an OBE (2016), and the St David Award for Innovation, Science and Technology (2017).

Meena has been an Honorary Distinguished Professor at the Division of Cancer and Genetics, Cardiff University since her retirement, and has represented Cardiff University at many international meetings. She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in 2017, the Fellowship of the Learned Society of Wales (LSW) in 2018 and was elected to be a Council Member of the RCPath in 2014 and the LSW in 2020. Meena also served as a mentor on Dame Rosemary Butler’s Women in Public Life scheme (2014-2015).

Meena is an avid advocate for promoting equality, diversity, community cohesion, and integration. She founded the Welsh Asian Women Achievement Awards now known as the Ethnic Minority Welsh Women Achievement Association (EMWWAA) and the Ethnic Minority Women in Welsh Healthcare (EMWWH). She is a trustee for Race Equality First, Race Council Cymru, the European NF Association, and sits on the Advisory Committee of Cardiff University’s BME+ Staff Network, Purple Plaque, and Monumental Welsh Women. Meena has been appointed as a Non-Executive-Director (NED)on the Welsh Government Civil Service Board (2020).

Other posts:

  • Hon Professorship in Practice by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in 2021
  • Hon Professorship in Genetics by the Amrita Institute Of Medical Sciences, Kochi, Kerala, India in 2021
  • Non-Executive Director on Civil Service Board, Welsh Government, 2020


Co-edited a book: Seventy Years of Struggle and Achievement: Life stories of Ethnic Minority Women in Wales, published by the Parthian, 2021