A BALLYMENA woman has secured a prestigious position as Guest Professor at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China.
Professor Dr Ingrid Fleming is the daughter of former Ballymena Mayor, councillor Audrey Wales.
Professor Fleming started her education at Carniny Primary and Cambridge House Grammar School.
She then studied Biochemistry and Pharmacology at Aston University in England, continuing with her PhD at the Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, France.
Professor Fleming is currently Chair of the Institute for Vascular Signalling and works in Frankfurt, Germany.
Speaking to the Guardian about her new role, she said: "A guest professor is someone who agrees to spend between two-four weeks every year in another university lecturing and working on combined projects as well as mentoring students etc.
"It’s not too onerous – it's more of an award - but it’s a great way of recruiting young talent back to your own lab.
"I have been in China a few times but the links to the Huazhong University in Wuhan are the strongest as I work on similar topics to the cardiology department and I have hosted students from there in the past.
"In fact, one of my current co-workers is about to set up his own independent group there.
“I was there at the end of October and plan to go back next summer.”
She added: “It’s pretty intense work when I’m there and it doesn’t leave too much time to look around but everyone is so hospitable I guess that if my parents wanted to visit we would have a guide show us around more.”
Despite her busy workload Professor Fleming told us she will be flying home for Christmas to spend the season with her parents, family and friends.
At last week’s full meeting of Mid and East Antrim Council, members offered their congratulations to councillor Wales and her daughter.
Councillor Wales told the Guardian she was “very pleased and very proud” of her daughter’s appointment.
Councillor Wales said: “She has done exceedingly well.”