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SSTO has new Professor

After consideration by the Professorial and Readership Committee, Nicola Lowe has been appointed as Professor of Nutritional Sciences in SSTO.

Professor Lowe is the first person within SSTO to progress internally to the role and she broke off from her busy schedule to tell us how her appointment came about:

"I have been active in the field of micronutrient research for over 25 years, beginning with my doctoral research on kinetic studies of zinc metabolism in the Department of Medicine at Liverpool University.

"During my postdoc years at the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, my focus changed from basic biochemistry to whole body nutrient metabolism. Professor Janet King was Post-Doc advisor there. As a world-renowned micronutrient researcher, she was and still is my inspiration for achieving the highest levels in research.

"Coming to UCLan in 2000 as a Senior Lecturer gave me the opportunity to develop my research as a Principal Investigator in my own right. It has been a slow journey, taking 10 years to initially develop local networks while maintaining my international connections, then building up a research and publication portfolio with internal and external collaborators.

"Although basic scientific research is important in its own right, I always had the drive to apply basic research to situations where it could make practical differences to human health. One of the milestones at UCLan was becoming involved with the Abaseen Foundation, where I found a way to use my knowledge to tackle some of the real malnutrition issues in rural Pakistan.

"I have two strands to my research portfolio. I am still involved in basic research around micronutrient requirements and am leading a new European Commission network of Zinc biologists (from chemists to public health specialists) with academic partners from 16 European Countries, while continuing to develop the public health nutrition research hub to tackle malnutrition in NW Pakistan with the Khyber Medical University and Abaseen Foundation.

"Moving from Senior Lecturer to Reader and finally Professor was a hard journey. It has taken many years, lots of persistence and an inherently stubborn personality to meet the stringent criteria for Readership and then Professorship. I became a Reader in 2011 and the transition to Professor was a challenging experience, but the hurdles that have to be overcome make the award even more satisfying.

"My mission as a Professor at UCLan is continue to do research that can be applied to improve human health and wellbeing wherever it is most needed, and to inspire and equip the next generation of undergraduates and postgraduates to take up the mantle when their time comes."