Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions

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Dr Musarrat Maisha Reza

Dr Musarrat Maisha Reza

Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences (Education and Scholarship) & Race Equality Resource Officer

 South Cloisters 


South Cloisters, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK


Dr Reza is a lecturer in Biomedical Sciences (Education and Scholarship) and the Race Equality Resource Officer at the College of Medicine and Health at University of Exeter. She received her PhD from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore in 2017. Her research investigated the role of Irisin on skeletal muscle growth, repair and regeneration. In 2019, she began her lectureship journey in the UK with University of East Anglia (UEA) as a lecturer in Biomedicine, teaching across Level 4, 5, 6 and post-graduate, Master’s students. She taught a range of modules including Biomedicine, Physiology, Human Diseases, Translational Medicine and Molecular Medicine. While at UEA, she was a part of the Race Equality Charter working group, academic representative for the Science Faculty on BAME post graduate experience and chaired the BAME student network in the School (BAME in BIO) to facilitate BAME student retention, progression and sense of belonging. She has written policies on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion to facilitate the installation of an EDI framework for the EDESIA PhD programme.

Outside the academia, she remains stalwart in her advocacy for youth rights and participation of young people in decision making. She has been installed by the Secretary General (Commonwealth) as the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Students’ Association, working to unify and represent the needs and aspirations of national student councils and student organizations in the Commonwealth. Appointed to the Founding Board of Trustees of the 100 Million Campaign, she advocates for a world where all young people are free, safe and educated. She has also been nominated as an ASEAN Youth Fellow, into a network of next generation leaders, who will influence and inspire youth to take the ASEAN community forward as a strong and unified entity.

Dr Reza has represented young people on various high-level international panels and to decision makers around the world, including the US, UK, Malaysia, Fiji, Morocco and Singapore. She has made recommendations to His Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Sussex, Education Ministers and Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth for inclusive policies and initiatives, ensuring no young person is left behind in fulfilling their potential. She was also invited to speak at the United Nations Education panel on global citizenship education. While working in the academia, Dr Reza, retains her passion for global advocacy and representation on issues close to her heart.


  • 2019- present: Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, UK (ongoing)
  • 2019- presentPostgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice (PGCERT), University of East Anglia, UK (ongoing)
  • 2017-2019: Research Fellow, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • 2013-2017: Doctor of Philosophy, School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • 2009-2013: Bachelor of Science, School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


  • 2020- presentLecturer in Biomedical Sciences, Education and Scholarship, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 2019-2020: Lecturer in Biomedicine, Academic Teaching and Scholarship, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom
  • 2017-2019: Skeletal Muscle Biologist, Research Fellow, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden



Research interests

Scientific Publications

1. Reza, Musarrat Maisha, B. Brett Finlay, and Sven Pettersson. "Gut microbes, ageing & organ function: a chameleon in modern biology?." EMBO molecular medicine 11, no. 9 (2019).

2. Lahiri, Shawon, Hyejin Kim, Isabel Garcia-Perez, Musarrat Maisha Reza, Katherine A. Martin, Parag Kundu, Laura M. Cox et al. "The gut microbiota influences skeletal muscle mass and function in mice." Science translational medicine 11, no. 502 (2019): eaan5662.

3. Reza, Musarrat Maisha, Nathiya Subramaniyam, Chu Ming Sim, Xiaojia Ge, Durgalakshmi Sathiakumar, Craig McFarlane, Mridula Sharma, and Ravi Kambadur. "Irisin is a pro-myogenic factor that induces skeletal muscle hypertrophy and rescues denervation-induced atrophy." Nature communications 8, no. 1 (2017): 1-17.

4. Reza, Musarrat Maisha, Chu Ming Sim, Nathiya Subramaniyam, Xiaojia Ge, Mridula Sharma, Ravi Kambadur, and Craig McFarlane. "Irisin treatment improves healing of dystrophic skeletal muscle." Oncotarget 8, no. 58 (2017): 98553.

5. Bose, B., Sudheer Shenoy, Musarrat Maisha Reza, C. D. McFarlane, Mridula Sharma, and R. Kambadur. "Plasticity of muscle derived stem cells to undergo pluripotent conversion without pluripotency factors or small moleculres.” Cytotherapy 16, no.4 (2014): S71

6. Bipasha Bose, Sudheer Shenoy, Musarrat Maisha Reza, Craig Desmond McFarlane, Mridula Sharma, Ravi Kambadur (2014). Plasticity of muscle derived stem cells to undergo pluripotent conversion without pluripotency factors or small 10 molecules. 20th Annual Meeting of International Society for Cellular Therapy, April 24-26, Paris, France (Abstract ID# Poster 246)

External Engagement and Impact

External positions

1. Founding Board of Trustees, 100 Million Campaign (Link) | 2020 – Present |
A campaign for every child to be free, safe and educated globally.

2Chairperson, Commonwealth Students’ Association (CSA) | 2018 – Present 
Empowering the students of the Commonwealth to influence change in education, contribute to their societies and amplify the student voice.

3. Board of Director, Global Peace Chain (GPC) | 2018 – Present 
Working with young people to build peace globally and implement the sustainable development goals.

4. Youth Advisory Council, Youth Skills & Innovation Initiative | 2018 – Present |
To enhance the skills and innovation readiness of young people and equip them with the tools to operate in a future workforce.

5. Global Shaper, World Economic Forum | 2018 – Present |
An ecosystem of young people to amplify the voices of young people in global decision making.

6. Finalist, 2018 Queen’s Young Leaders Award | 2018 – Present |
This award recognizes and celebrates exceptional young people across the Commonwealth, who are taking the lead in their communities and using their skills to transform lives.

7. Associate Fellow, Royal Commonwealth Society | 2018- Present |
Committing to the Commonwealth values and improving the lives of Commonwealth citizens.

8. Global Youth Ambassador, A World at School, Theirworld | 2017 – Present |
A worldwide network of over 700 young advocates and campaigners supporting the movement to get every child into school.

9. Leader of Tomorrow, 46th St. Gallen Symposium | 2017- Present |
Advocating for gender equality, equal opportunities and resources for women.

Keynote addresses or prestigious public lectures given in international forums

1. Laureates and Leaders, Fair Share for Children Summit |2020| 
 Speaking alongside Nobel Laureates and World Leaders on 'The Education Crisis: How to Ensure We Don't Lost A Generation Due to The Pandemic'
Programme | Speakers | Profile Page | Meeting Report | Speech |

2. BBC News, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), London (Link) |2018|
Interviewed by th BBC News, as Chair of the CSA to speak about the role of young people making positive change across the Commonwealth and the relevance of the Commonwealth to young people.

3. Opening Ceremony, Commonwealth Youth Forum, London (Link) |2018|
Hosting the Opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Youth Forum, introducing the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry, Chair of the British Youth Council, Chair of the Commonwealth Youth Council, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.         

4. Ministerial Presentation, Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM), Fiji |2018|
Presenting recommendations as the Chair of CSA at the Education Ministers Meeting, generated at the Students’ Forum on issues such as TVET, gender equality and enabling students have a voice at the decision-making table.

5. Opening Ceremony, CCEM, Integrated Partners Forum, Fiji |2018|
Welcome address as Chair of CSA in the opening ceremony of the IPF, together with Rt. Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth and Honorable. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Attorney-General & Minister for Education, Government of Fiji.

5. Ministerial Presentation, Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (CCEM), Fiji |2018|
Presenting recommendations as the Chair of CSA at the Education Ministers Meeting, generated at the Students’ Forum on issues such as TVET, gender equality and enabling students have a voice at the decision-making table.

6. Youth Respondent, United Nations SDG High Level Event, New York (Link) |2017|
Invited to speak at the United Nations High Level Education Event at the UN Headquarters in New York to provide policy recommendations on global citizenship education.



1. Driven Women Podcast (Link) |2019|
Episode 4: Redefining The ‘F’ Word for The Modern Woman
Hosted by Sophia Bryan, to explore the success stories of women leaders from all over the globe who have overcome the hurdles in fields typically dominated by men.  

2. Better Angels Podcast (Link) |2018|
Hosted by Theirworld President, Sarah Brown, celebrating the activist spirit of youth working to make a positive impact.

3. Digging Deep, Best People, Best Conversations (Link) |2018|
Episode 9: How to Advocate for Women’s Empowerment in Worldwide Youth Leadership
Hosted by Touhid Kamal, A Touhid Kamal Series.


Medical Sciences, Undergraduate

  1. Lead Academic Tutor | Year 2 |
  2. Module Lead: Experimental Design and Statistics, CSC2023 Year 2 |
  3. Disease, Diagnostics and Therapeutics, SSGL, CSC2012 Year 2 |
  4. Introduction to Pharmacology, CSC2005 | Year 2 |
  5. Fundamental Skills for Medical Scientists, CSC1004 | Year 1 |
  6. Academic Tutor Group, Medial Sciences & Sports and Exercise Medical Sciences | Year 1 |

Medicine, Undergraduate

  1. Problem Based Learning, BMBS | Year 1 |
  2. Special Study Units, BMBS | Year 1 |



Supervision / Group

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