Professor Heather Wallace

Professor Heather Wallace
BSc (Glasgow) PhD (Aberdeen) FRCPath FBTS FRSC FRSB FBPhS European Registered Toxicologist (ERT)

Professor in Biochemical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Professor Heather Wallace
Professor Heather Wallace

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 437956
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The University of Aberdeen School of Medicine, Medical Science and Nutrition, Institute of Medical Sciences, Room 6:21, Foresterhill Aberdeen AB25 2ZD


Heather Wallace (neé Moyes) graduated in Biochemistry from the University of Glasgow and moved to Aberdeen to undertake a PhD, sponsored by the MRC, in the Department of Biochemistry under the supervision of Professor Hamish Keir. She studied the biochemistry of the polyamines in normal and virus infected cells and graduated PhD. Heather continued her studies in polyamine metabolism through both MRC and CRC postdoctoral fellowships in the Department of Biochemistry before being appointed the Wellcome Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology in the Department of Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology. Later that year she was appointed a "New Blood" lecturer in Molecular Pharmacology (now Biomedical Sciences). She was awarded a University Research Fellowship and was then appointed Senior Lecturer and Professor.  Professor Wallace is currently a Deputy Chairman of the Biochemical Journal having been an editor for 7 years. She is an active member of several professional Societies including the Biochemical Society, British Pharmacological Society, British Toxicological Society and British Association for Cancer Research. She has organised a number of International Meetings, has been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board on several International Conferences and is a previous Chair of a Gordon Research Conference. 

Heather is enthusiastically involved in connecting academia with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and works to facilitate scientific excellence and innovation in the discovery of new medicines. 

Prof Wallace is immediate Past President of the BTS and is a member of the PPE committee of the British Pharmacological Society.  She sits on the Committee for Carcinogenicity (COC), Herbal Medicine Advisory Committee (HMAC), Paediatric Medicnes Expert Advisry Group (MHRA), Specialty Advisory Committee (Toxicology) and is the UK CPD Advisor for Toxicology for the Royal College of Pathologists. She is also an evaluator and an assessor for the European Commission.  

Heather was elected a Fellow of the following Societies: the Royal College of Pathologists ; the British Toxicology Society;  the British Pharmacological Society; the Royal Society of Chemistry; the Society of Biology.  She is also a European Registered Toxicologist and a member of the UK Register of Toxicologists. 

Heather's research interests are in cancer therapies: chemotherapy, chemoprevention and selective drug delivery.  Her work is focused around the polyamine pathway as a target for intevention in cancer therapies.  Her other research interests are in cell death and oxidative stress.

Memberships and Affiliations


Co-ordinator of Post Graduate Studies (taught) Graduate School, College of Life Sciences and Medicine

Member of the Internal Management Board of the Kosterlitz Centre for Therapeutics


Deputy Chairman of Biochemical Journal 

President of the British Toxicology Society 

Member of Expert Advisory Group for MHRA 

Member of Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee (MHRA)

Member of the Committee on Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COC) 

Member of the EUROTOX Executive Committee

President and Chair of Local Organising Committee of EUROTOX 2014, Edinburgh

Examiner in Toxicology for Royal College of Pathologists 

Member of Specialty Advisory Committee (Toxicology) for Royal College of Pathologists  

CPD Advisor for UK for Royal College of Pathologists 


Research Overview

 Professsor Wallace's research interests are the role of polyamines in cell growth and apoptosis (cell death) particularly in relation to the possible regulatory role played by the polyamines in malignancy.  The polyamine pathway is a potential target for the development of anticancer strategies including chemotherapeutic, chemoprevention and drug delivery systems.  Recent interests include the understanding the mechanism of chemoprevention of human cancers by drugs such as the non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and natural products, the development of polyamine analogues as novel chemotherapeutic agents and using the polyamine transport system for selective delivery of drugs. Further details can be found on the Polyamine Research Group web pages.


Teaching Responsibilities

Programme Co-ordinator for MSc Clinical Pharmacology, MSc Drug Discovery and Development, MSc Bio-Business and Medical Sciences,  MRes Drug Discovery and BSc degrees with Bio-Business

Course co-ordinator of:

Bio-Business courses (BT1502, BT3502, BT4506, BT5506, BT5012, BT5508)

Drug Metabolism and Toxcology (MT5003)

Molecular Pharmacology (MT5024)

Research Methods (MT5515)

Induction course level 5 (MT5010)

Mechanisms of Disease and Principles of Chemotherapy (PA3802)

Molecular Toxicology (PA4302)

Teaching includes:

Cancer biology, cancer chemotherapy, cancer chemoprevention, drug resistance, molecular carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, toxicity of pesticides, toxicity in vitro, mechanisms of toxicity, cell signalling systems, anti-inflammatory drugs, critial appraisal, in vitro model systems, designing a research project



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