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Steve Ward, Anthony Smith and Melanie Welham
Steve Ward, Anthony Smith and Melanie Welham have all been appointed as Professors in the University of Bath's Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology

Press Release - 12 January 2005

First woman professor in Pharmacy appointed at Bath

The first woman Professor in the 98-year history of pharmacy research in Bath has been appointed.

Melanie Welham is one of three new professors appointed by the University of Bath to help strengthen the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology’s position as a leading centre for research.

The appointments, known as Personal Chairs, have all been made from the existing academic staff in the Department.

Professor Welham’s research interests are in the signalling processes that control the growth and developmental of stem cells for use in future treatments for a range of diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and spinal cord injuries.

In 2003 she was awarded a three-year Research Development Fellowship from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council to develop this research further.

She also Chairs the Signal Transduction theme panel of the Biochemical Society, is a member of the Medical Research Council advisory board and an editor of the Biochemical Journal.

Anthony Smith, who has been head of the Department since 2002, has been appointed as Professor of Pharmacy, whilst Steve Ward has been promoted to Professor of Molecular Pharmacology.

Although the University began in 1966, the Bath School of Pharmacy was founded in 1907.

“These appointments signal the strength of the research and scholarship that exists within the department,” said Professor Christopher Jennison, Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Bath.

“As all of the appointees are under the age of 42, it also recognises the important contribution that our younger scientists are making to the work of the department.”

“All three of us are delighted to have been given Personal Chairs at the University," said Professor Smith.

“The Department has a 5-star ranking for the quality of its research and we will continue to strengthen and build on this position for the future.”

Professor Smith’s research is focused on the factors that contribute to the survival and antibiotic resistance of infection-causing bacteria. Currently, his group is working on a project examining the survival of bacteria in hospitals including MRSA, the so-called 'super bug'.

Professor Ward is researching the signalling mechanisms that control immune cell activation during inflammatory responses. In 2002 he was awarded the Quintiles Prize from the British Pharmacological Society for outstanding contributions to the field of immunopharmacology.