Professor Heather Wallace
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


School of Medicine, Medical Science and Nutrition, Institute of Medical Sciences, Room 6:21, Foresterhill Aberdeen AB25 2ZD


Heather is Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology and Toxicology in the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.   She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Toxicology, Pharmacology, Clinical Pharmacology and Drug Discovery and Development.  Heather runs the Bio-Business programmes for PG and UG students encouraging and promoting connections between academia and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry through the Kosterlitz Centre for Industrial Engagement (KCIE). She runs a research laboratory with a focus on discovering novel targets for intervention in cancer.  Her aim is to inspire students and to promote scientific excellence and innovation in their future careers.

Heather believes in giving back to science and is a strong supporter of learned societies having served on several executive committees and councils.  She is currently President of EUROTOX and is championing the training of toxicologists across Europe in order to provide appropriately trained toxicologists required by academia, industry and the regulatory communities.

Heather sits on several governmental committees as a toxicologist: the Committee for Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COC), Herbal Medicine Advisory Committee (HMAC), Paediatric Medicines Expert Advisory Group (MHRA), Specialty Advisory Committee (Toxicology) and is the UK CPD Advisor for Toxicology for the Royal College of Pathologists.  She is Vice-Chair of the CONTAM Panel at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which assesses the risk to human health of chemical contaminants in food and feed.

 Heather's research interests cover cancer chemotherapy, chemoprevention and selective drug delivery.  Her work is focused around the polyamine pathway as a target for intervention to develop new cancer treatments.  Her research interests include pathways of cell death and oxidative stress.

Heather is a keen golfer and tennis player and enjoys walking and cycling. 


  • BSc Biochemistry 
    1976 - University of Glasgow 
  • PhD Biochemistry 
    1979 - University of Aberdeen 
  • FRCPath Toxicology 
    2004 - Royal College of Pathologists 

Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

Head of Kosterlitz Centre for Industrial Engagement

Member of PGT Committee for School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition

External Examiner at Univerity of Galway

External Examiner at Dublin City University

External Memberships

President of EUROTOX

Editor-in-Chief of Toxicology Research

Vice Chair of CONTAM Panel at European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

Member of Expert Advisory Group for MHRA - Paediatric Medicines

Member of Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee at MHRA - Vice Chair

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

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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