Anna Felicja Penson
26 August 1954
|Residence||Glasgow, Scotland, UK|
|Alma mater||Gdańsk Medical University|
|Known for||Cardiovascular medicine, Precision Medicine|
|Fields||physician, researcher, academic|
|Institutions||University of Glasgow|
Professor Dame Anna Felicja Dominiczak DBE FRCP FRSE FAHA FMedSci (born 26 August 1954) is a Polish/British medical researcher, Regius Professor of Medicine, the first woman to hold the position, and Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. She is also a non-executive member of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board.
Her research interests include hypertension, cardiovascular genomics and precision medicine. She has led major research programmes, has over 400 publications in peer-reviewed journals, and is recognised as being among the world’s foremost cardiovascular scientists and clinical academics
Professor Dominiczak was born in Gdańsk, Poland, and went on to study medicine at the Gdańsk Medical University, Poland, where she gained an MD Honours in 1978. She moved to the UK in 1982 and worked as a Junior House Officer at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, and a Senior House Officer and Registrar at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Paisley. In 1986 she gained Membership of the Royal College of Physicians UK.
Research and career
In 1986, Dominiczak was appointed Medical Research Council (MRC) Clinician Scientist and Senior Registrar at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, and between 1990 and 1991 was Research Fellow and Associate Professor at the University of Michigan on a British Heart Foundation Fellowship.
She returned to Glasgow in 1992 as Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Senior Registrar at the Medical School of the University of Glasgow, and in 1993 became BHF Senior Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer..
In 1998, she was appointed to a British Heart Foundation Professorship of Cardiovascular Medicine, and in 2006, the British Heart Foundation and University of Glasgow jointly opened the BHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre. Prof. Dominiczak was appointed as the first Director of the Centre, a position she held until 2010. Between 2004 and 2008, she was Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Science and in 2012 was appointed Editor-in-Chief of Hypertension
The Centre aims to create a multidisciplinary research environment of internationally recognised cardiovascular research groups, and is connected to the University's Medical School and Glasgow Biomedical Research Centre. In 2010, she was appointed Regius Professor of Medicine at the University, the first woman to hold this post.
Dominiczak has been described as “a bona fide trailblazer in cardiovascular science and medicine”, and one of the “the country's most eminent scientists”. Since 2010, she has held the position of Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Glasgow – the first woman to hold this post. In the same year, the University of Glasgow underwent a major restructure with four colleges replacing nine faculties. The largest of the four is the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences (MVLS). Prof Dominiczak was appointed as the first Head of MVLS and as a University Vice Principal in 2010, positions she holds to this day. Under her continued directorship, by the end of 2018, MVLS had 2300 staff, 6,000 students, £230 million turnover and £120 million research income annually.
Dominiczak was instrumental in fundraising in excess of £90m in order to bring University research facilities to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital campus in Glasgow. She oversaw the development of key buildings, the Teaching and Learning Centre and the £32m Imaging Centre of Excellence (ICE), which is a hub for Precision Medicine innovation and the site of the UK’s first 7Tesla MRI scanner in a clinical setting.
The University site at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital is also home to a Clinical Research Facility and the 22,000sq feet Clinical Innovation Zone, which houses a range of Precision Medicine-focused companies and research initiatives. Dominiczak’s vision to see Scotland leading the way in Precision Medicine innovation and delivery, has been key to the make-up and structure of these buildings and centres. Her vision, to follow a Triple Helix approach to collaboration, sees NHS, industry and academia brought together under one roof in order to work closely together to bring more efficient solutions to health problems for both patients and the NHS.
From 2013 to 2015 Dominiczak was President of the European Society of Hypertension and was instrumental in bringing the joint meeting of the International Society of Hypertension and the European Society of Hypertension to Glasgow in 2020, where it will be held at the Scottish Exhibition Centre.
In 2018 Dominiczak co-hosted the first Precision Medicine Summit in Scotland, which was attended by the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon. The summit brought together the country’s foremost experts on Precision Medicine, from industry, NHS, politics and academia, in order to find a One Scotland approach to innovation in this emerging field. Later in 2018 she was named as one of the experts appointed to advise the Scottish Government through the Scottish Science Advisory Council (SSAC). Dominiczak took up her position on the expert panel, which supports the Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland in her work with Scottish Ministers, in January 2019.
In 2019 Dominiczak was appointed as the Medical Research Council Heath Innovation Champion, a new senior role within the MRC that is intended to enable the organisation to work more effectively with commercial partners. She has also served extensively on national and international research committees and advisory boards, including those of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Wellcome Trust. She has been a member of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Board of Trustees since 2014.
Dominiczak’s major research interests continue to be hypertension, cardiovascular genomics and Precision Medicine, where she not only publishes extensively in top peer-reviewed journals, but also attracts large scale research funding for programmes and infrastructure, with a total funding value in excess of £100M since 2011. She also led a collaboration of four universities, four academic NHS Health Boards across Scotland, and two major industry partners to develop a public/private partnership focused on precision medicine, with a value in excess of £20M.
She has been invited to give over 100 international plenary lectures, including the Arthur Corcoran Award and Lecture of the American Heart Association[xi], the R.D. Wright Award and Lecture of the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia, the Bjorn Folkow Award and Lecture of the European Society of Hypertension, the William Harvey Outstanding Contribution to Science Award and Lecture, the Robert Tigerstedt Award and Lecture, and, in 2017, the Pickering Lecture of the British and Irish Hypertension Society.
Awards and honours
- appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2005
- appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to cardiovascular and medical science.
- named Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year in 2006 for the part she played in bringing the £12million British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Research Centre to the University of Glasgow.
- received The Lord Provost of Glasgow’s Special Award for 2006 for her work in the battle to rid Scotland of its title of heart disease capital of Europe.
- Fellow, Royal College of Physicians 
- elected Fellow, Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2003, and its Vice-President for Life Sciences from October 2012 to October 2014.
- Fellow, American Heart Association
- Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences
- Fellow, Royal Society of Edinburgh[iii]
- Fellow, European Society of Cardiology
- Fellow, Society of Biology
Dominiczak married Professor Marek Dominiczak in 1976 with whom she has a son Peter Dominiczak. Her interests include modern literature and film.
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