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Dr Priyank Shukla, Lecturer in Stratified Medicine (Bioinformatics) within the School of Biomedical Sciences, has been selected as an Honorary Fellow of the ISA – Istituto di Studi Avanzati (Institute of Advanced Studies), University of Bologna, which is awarded to distinguished personalities based on merit and achievements, and specially for their contribution to research, in all areas of science and culture.

Dr Shukla has recently secured a funding from British Association of International and Comparative Education (BAICE) to set-up and lead an international research group which involves researchers from Ulster University along with the Universities of Newcastle, Sunderland, and Bologna. This presented the opportunity for Dr Shukla to further extend the collaborative working and research with the University of Bologna. It is in recognition of this achievement, which builds on his long-standing support to the activities of the ISA and for his contribution to the inception of the ISA’s International PhD College coworking project, that he was awarded the ISA Honorary Fellowship.

Dr Priyank Shukla has a distinguished career in research which began following his graduation, with a First Class BSc in Biotechnology (2001-2004) from Bareilly College, MJPR University, Bareilly, India, and a First Class MSc in Bioinformatics (2004-2006) from University Institute of Engineering & Technology, CSJM University, Kanpur, India. He then joined Laboratory of Genomics at Department of Histology, Embryology and Applied Biology, University of Bologna, Italy for 3-months as a Visiting Researcher to co-work on a Bioinformatics project aimed at full parsing of Genbank database, where he was awarded ‘DIEBA Prize for a Young Researcher working in Bioinformatics applied to Functional Genomics’. Subsequently, he was awarded ‘Brains-in PhD Residential Scholarship’ (2007-2009) by the Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Bologna, and ‘100-Young Indian Researcher Scholarship’ (2009-2010) by Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), Government of Italy, to pursue a PhD in Computer Science (area of research: Machine Learning and Bioinformatics) at Bologna Biocomputing Group, where he developed Machine Learning based computational methods for prediction of disulphide bonding states of cysteine residues in proteins.

He then undertook a Postdoctoral Scientist (Bioinformatics) position at Jak-Stat Signalling Consortium, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria (2010-2016), wherein his research focused on applying Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) approaches to understand Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) and Jak-Stat Signalling – linking infection, inflammation, and cancer.

Move to Ulster University:

Dr Shukla was appointed to his first academic post as a Lecturer in Stratified Medicine (Bioinformatics) at Ulster University in July 2016 and Associate Course Director of MSc Personalised Medicine programme in August 2021.

He teaches across both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and he is also Associate Course Director for the MSc Personalised Medicine programme.

He won Ulster University’s ‘Distinguished Education Excellence Award’ twice – in the ‘Professional Practice Innovation’ category (2018), and in the ‘Early Career Educator Category’ (2019).

Current research:

His current research interests are in the fields of Personalised Medicine, Bioinformatics and Positive Pedagogy in Higher Education. As a PI/Co-PI, he has been successful in securing research funding from Innovate UK, UKRI, Invest NI, NIHR, DfE, HSC R&D, Novo Nordisk, Wellcome Trust, BSA, BAICE and Advance HE.


He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy UK, Fellow of Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice UK, and Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Advance Studies Italy.