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Researcher named as one of the most inspirational women in science

Professor Federica Marelli-Berg from Queen Mary University of London has been named by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) as one of the top 10 inspirational women in science.

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Professor Federica Marelli-Berg
Professor Federica Marelli-Berg

Professor Federica Marelli-Berg is BHF Professor of Cardiovascular Immunology, and one of the country’s leading experts on the immune system. As one of the BHF’s most senior researchers, and the leader of a team of 20 scientists at Queen Mary, she is also now helping to raise the next generation of scientists.

Professor Marelli-Berg from Queen Mary’s William Harvey Research Institute said: “I am delighted that the BHF have highlighted the work of my laboratory in fighting heart disease. My greatest hope is that this research will ultimately make a difference for patients.

“Both Queen Mary and BHF have supported me in successfully training young female researchers into independent research leaders, and I intend to continue offering my experience and support for other talented young women to achieve their full potential in science.”

Her team’s work focuses on the wider effects of anti-rejection drugs, taken by patients after organ transplantation. These stop rejection but also shut down other aspects of the immune system. The professor believes the solution is to develop drugs that are much more specific: “The aim of my research into transplantation is to block the immune system only as it relates to the heart.”

Almost two thirds of BHF-funded PhD students are female, but women are under-represented in senior cardiovascular research roles. This is something that the BHF is working to change with its research strategy, and in their latest newsletter, the charity has highlighted 10 inspirational women that they have supported.

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