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Dame Louise Makin elected as Honorary Fellow of St John’s

Dr Dame Louise Makin, who is Chief Executive Officer of the healthcare firm, British Technology Group (BTG), has become an Honorary Fellow of St John’s College.

A former postgraduate student at St John’s, Dame Louise became CEO at BTG in 2004 and has been credited with transforming the company’s fortunes. A Financial Times article last year said that she had turned the firm into “a fast-growing, specialist healthcare group” and described her as “one of Britain’s longest-serving and best-performing female bosses”.

BTG is currently a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Dame Louise studied for a PhD in metallurgy at St John’s, having previously completed her undergraduate degree at Newnham College, Cambridge. She was one of St John’s first women postgraduate students, and became the first ever Ladies’ Captain of the Lady Margaret Boat Club, the College’s rowing club, in 1984. She was also “stroke” – the rower who dictates the crew’s rhythm - in the first ever two Cambridge lightweight women’s rowing crews in 1984 and 1985.

In 1985 she joined ICI and held various positions in the company before moving to English China Clay as director of global ceramics and then Baxter Healthcare, in 2000. There, she held the position of Vice President of strategy and business development in Europe, and then became President of biopharmaceuticals Europe, with overall responsibility for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa – a position she held until joining BTG in 2004. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s 2014 Birthday Honours.

BTG is an international specialist healthcare company that develops and commercialises products targeting critical care, cancer and other disorders. Under Dame Louise’s stewardship, it has successfully delivered new cancer therapies, treatments for varicose veins and blood clots, and – perhaps its best-known product – an antivenom for rattlesnake bites called CroFab, which is the only US-approved treatment of its kind.

Dame Louise is a non-executive director of Intertek, a multinational inspection, product testing and certification company, and the Woodford Patient Capital Trust, an investment trust dedicated to long term investments predominantly in the UK.  She is a trustee of the Outward Bound Trust, the outdoor learning and educational charity. In the latter capacity, she has abseiled down London’s Shard building in order to raise money for the charity. Her hobbies include skiing and competitive sailing.