Professor Amrita Ahluwalia
Professor Amrita Ahluwalia is a pharmacologist with a passion for nurturing the next generation of researchers and increasing diverse representation in biomedical science. She has led discoveries identifying the key importance of the non-canonical pathway for nitric oxide generation, and with Barts Health Trust clinical pharmacologists and cardiologists, translated her observations demonstrating the efficacy of inorganic nitrate (beetroot) and/or nitrite in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, namely high blood pressure and ischaemic heart disease. Since 2016 she has been serving as the Editor-in-chief of the British Journal of Pharmacology which, under her leadership, has become the leading scientific journal within its field.
Professor Ahluwalia served previously as the Co-Director of William Harvey Research Institute between 2016-2020 as well as undertaking numerous faculty and university-wide initiatives. In 2017 she established the Barts Cardiovascular Clinical Trials Unit, which is a spoke of The UKCRC accredited Barts CTU. In her new role, she will apply her expertise, extensive international network, and record of cultivating successful research environments to realise our strategic mission: ‘Better health for all’.
During her tenure as the Deputy Director and later Co-Director of William Harvey Research Institute the institute's research income grew from £15m to £22m and the number of returned academics substantially increased from REF 2014. Professor Ahluwalia also championed diversity of representation within the institute with considerable success.
In 2018 and 2020 she was tasked by the Principal with a university-wide review of the academic promotions process which led to substantial changes and a higher success rate among members from underrepresented backgrounds and communities.
Professor Ahluwalia has a passion for supporting scientists in early stages of their career. She has been the first PhD supervisor for 20 students (Discovery and clinical), all of whom were funded through competitively won studentships and fellowships. She also leads the current BHF-funded Doctoral Training Programme at Queen Mary.
Under her leadership the British Journal of Pharmacology has expanded the international diversity of its editorial board, gaining important representation from China, India and Latin America. Earlier in her career Professor Ahluwalia worked as the Chair of The Women-In Pharmacology Committee of the British Pharmacological Society where she established the first mentoring scheme specifically for women among British learned societies.
Following her appointment, Professor Ahluwalia said: "I look forward to working with my excellent colleagues across the university, the Trust and of course particularly the Faculty of Medicine Dentistry. I am sure that together we can deliver 'Better health for all".