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The William Harvey Research Institute - Barts and The London

Queen Mary academics win national award recognising exceptional contribution to pharmacology education

Dr Sadani Cooray and Professor Nick Goulding from Queen Mary University of London have been jointly awarded the Rang Prize 2020 by the British Pharmacological Society.

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Dr Sadani Cooray and Professor Nick Goulding

The Rang Prize, named after distinguished British pharmacologist Professor Humphrey Rang, is an annual award recognising excellence in teaching and exceptional contribution to pharmacology education in the UK.

Dr Sadani Cooray is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Education at the William Harvey Research Institute (WHRI), School of Medicine & Dentistry (SMD). She is the Programme Director for the BSc and intercalated BSc degrees in Pharmacology & Innovative Therapeutics at Queen Mary University of London and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). Sadani is a Senior Programme Tutor for the BSc in Biomedical Science and Chair of Exam Board for BSc Global Health. She leads a number of modules and teaches on both basic science and MBBS and GEP medical degree programmes.

Sadani designed and developed an innovative curriculum for the BSc Pharmacology degree focussing on the current and potential future skills-gap identified by the Association for the British Pharmaceutical Industry; skills critical for sustaining the biopharmaceutical industry in the UK. This is a landmark achievement, since in 2015 it was the first new undergraduate pharmacology degree to be offered in the UK for over a decade as well as the first BSc within WHRI. Dr Cooray’s success as the Programme Director was reflected by the latest 2019 NSS scores receiving the highest approval rating across all Science and Engineering Courses offered at QMUL and one of the highest scorers amongst all Russell Group universities offering undergraduate Pharmacology degrees.

Sadani Cooray said “I am extremely proud that we are now ranked 2nd in London and 12th in the UK in the Complete University Guide Subject League Tables 2021. I feel extremely thrilled and honoured to be the joint winner of the prestigious Rang Prize 2020 together with Professor Nick Goulding”.

Professor Nick Goulding currently holds the title of Professor of Pharmacology and Medical Education at Queen Mary University of London and has held key educational roles within WHRI including Director of Education and Director of Academic Development. Professor Goulding is Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PHFEA) and has been heavily involved in policy making and strategy, especially in conjunction with his role as Vice-President of the BPS between 2010-2013 with specific responsibility for education. His key contribution was to co-ordinate national and international educational development for the Society. Nationally, he created strategies for UK pharmacology education, liaising with industry and other stakeholders, formulating programmes of CPD for pharmacologists, advising the Royal Society of Biology and BPS on pan-European initiatives on PhD harmonization. Internationally, he liaised with counterparts from pharmacological societies worldwide on international initiatives for pharmacology teaching and continuing professional development. 

Nick has been a plenary lecturer at a variety of international pharmacology and higher education conferences on subjects relating to education policy for undergraduate and postgraduate pharmacology, government life sciences policy and the future of in vivo pharmacology. In 2012, he gave the annual WDM Paton Lecture at the BPS on the subject of the history of corticosteroids. 

Together with Dr Sadani Cooray Professor Goulding was instrumental in instigating a novel degree programme in Pharmacology and Innovative Therapeutics within the School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Nick Goulding said “This new pharmacology degree course prepares students to work at the interface between academic science, industry and the business world. It is an exciting place to be.”

Dr Cooray & Professor Goulding will receive the Rang award at the Annual British Pharmacological Society conference in Liverpool later this year.

For more information about the Rang Prize, please visit,-awards-and-grants/our-prizes/rang-prize 

Rang Prize

Staff Profile - Dr Sadani Cooray

Staff Profile- Professor Nick Goulding