First Hertfordshire MBE plans to make Hertfordshire number one for Pharmacy

Professor Soraya Dhillon, who has just been made an MBE, plans to position the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Pharmacy as the leading UK school within the next three years.

A woman with great drive and enthusiasm, Professor Dhillon, who is also Chair of the Luton & Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, has been honoured for her services to health care. She is the first University of Hertfordshire academic to receive this honour.

“I am really humbled and honoured that my contribution has been recognised in this way,” she said. “I have been very fortunate in my career to have worked with excellent colleagues who share the same drive and ambition and a very supportive family who enable me to excel. I have worked hard to make a real difference.”

Commenting on this honour, Professor Tim Wilson, the University’s Vice-Chancellor said:

"I am delighted that Professor Dhillon has been recognised in this way for her major contributions to health care. To my knowledge, she is the first University of Hertfordshire academic to be honoured in this way. Her experience and links with the local health economy have meant that she has positioned the University's School of Pharmacy to become the leading UK school in this field."

In addition to her work in the NHS, Professor Dhillon has extensive experience of working in academia, which she first joined in 1989 at The School of Pharmacy, University of London. During her early academic career, her PhD worked on anti-convulsant therapy and she has maintained a keen research interest in pharmacokinetics and the evaluation of the pharmacists’ role in medicines management services.

She became head of the new School of Pharmacy at the University of Hertfordshire in 2004. The School of Pharmacy has already created a state-of-the-art facility with a chemistry and analytical laboratory and advanced health simulation facilities, which has attracted high calibre staff, two visiting professors and 12 fellows. The School is preparing to install a robotic dispenser later this year, which will be a first for UK universities.

Professor Dhillon believes that the School is unique because of the way in which it works across a range of health disciplines to ensure that graduates have a thorough understanding of the science underpinning the practice of pharmacy.

“The School is doing fantastically,” she said. “All of our teaching and research schedules are on track and we are on course to be the leading school of pharmacy in the UK within the next three years.”

Notes to Editors

Photo of Professor Dhillon attached.

Professor Dhillon is head of the University and Hertfordshire School of Pharmacy, Chair of the Luton & Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and has been a Non-Executive Director in the NHS for 15 years in the Bedfordshire area.  She was appointed as a Non-Executive Director (NED) for South Bedfordshire Health Authority in 1991; she excelled in this role and was appointed Vice Chair of Bedfordshire Health Authority in 1996.  She was appointed as Chair of the Luton & Dunstable Hospital in December 1999 and was re-appointed for a second term in December 2003.  She led the hospital to Foundation Trust status in August 2006, the first hospital in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire to become an FT Through her NED role, Soraya was appointed as Chair of a Workforce Development Confederation until 2004.
For further information, please contact Hélène Murphy, Media & PR Officer, University of Hertfordshire, Tel: 01707 28 4095, email:

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