Heather Hancock, Master of the College, pictured in the New Court Cloisters at St John's
Heather Hancock

Heather Hancock was installed as Master of St John’s College in October 2020, returning to St John’s having read Land Economy at the College as an undergraduate. Her career and personal interests have always revolved around urban and rural land-use, making places where people want to and can live, work, invest and enjoy sustainably, and on rural environments that deliver public good.

Heather chaired the Food Standards Agency, a non-Ministerial government department, and regulator of the food and feed industries, from 2015-2020. Before this, she was a Managing Partner at Deloitte LLP, with UK leadership for innovation, brand and talent; she also served in Deloitte’s global senior leadership. She was a Partner in the firm’s strategy consulting business, specialising in governance and strategy for novel ventures and public:private initiatives, and in complex programme leadership. She headed the firm’s global services to the Olympic movement. Prior to joining Deloitte in 2003, Heather held a series of CEO and senior civil service roles in the public sector, with a consistent theme of large-scale urban and rural regeneration and land management.

Heather currently holds a number of non-executive roles, including chairing the Prince’s Countryside Fund, and as as a non-executive Director of Rural Solutions Ltd and of Urban Logistics REIT plc. She was appointed Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order in the 2012 New Year Honours, and is a Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire.

Heather served as a Trustee of the Prince’s Trust, the UK’s biggest youth charity, for over a decade, chaired the BBC’s rural affairs committee from 2003-2010 and, in 2013-14, was commissioned by the BBC Trust to investigate and report on bias and impartiality in the BBC’s rural affairs coverage. She was Deputy Chair of the World Athletics Championships and Paralympic Athletics Championships from 2013-2016, is a former trustee of the International Business Leaders Forum and supported the creation of the global Social Progress Index.
Office: Master's Lodge
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steve edgley
Professor Steve A Edgley
President, Director of Studies Preclinical Medical and Veterinary studies, Part 1B, University Professor in Sensorimotor Neuroscience
Medical Science

Neuroscience: Information processing in motor systems. Organisation and contribution to movement of the spinal cord, cerebellum and motor cortex.
Office: B8 New Court
Telephone: 38619
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Ruth Abbott
Dr Ruth Heather Abbott
Director of Studies in English
My research focuses on textual scholarship and 18th and 19th century manuscripts, chiefly writers' notebooks, with a particular emphasis on compositional practices, reading practices (including the practice of reading aloud), research practices, the history of scholarship, and the organisation of knowledge.
Office: C4 Second Court
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Jean Abraham
Professor Jean Abraham
Professor in Precision Breast Cancer Medicine, Director of the Precision Breast Cancer Institute, Subject Director for the Part IB Biology of Disease course
Medical Science

Research Interests
Developing innovative clinical trials in high risk and hereditary early-stage breast cancers, and using multi-modal data integration to develop predictive and prognostic tools to provide individualised treatment strategies for breast cancer patients to improve clinical outcomes.

She is Chief Investigator of eight national/regional trials. This includes the Personalised Breast Cancer Programme, which delivers real-time whole genome and whole transcriptome sequencing for clinical actionability. She is a member of the NIHR Clinical Studies Group for Breast Cancer, which sets the national clinical trials research strategy and she chairs the Genomics Working Group. Jean has also advised the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence on breast cancer therapeutics and provides expert witness for the House of Commons Select Committee on Genomics and Gene Editing.
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Albertina Albors-Llorens
Professor Albertina Albors-Llorens
College Lecturer in Law, Professor of European Union Law
European Union Law, in particular EU remedies. Competition law in the European Union and the interface between Competition Law and Consumer Protection Law.
Office: G1 Second Court
Telephone: 60186
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Virgil Andrei
Dr Virgil Andrei
Natural Sciences (Physical)
My interests revolve around the development of renewable energy sources, such as photoelectrocatalysis, photovoltaics and thermoelectrics . Currently, I am working on scalable "artificial leaf" devices, which can split water to produce hydrogen, or reduce carbon dioxide to value-added products under solar light illumination. This interdisciplinary approach is fundamental for the wide-scale implementation of sustainable solar fuels.
Office: E13 New Court
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Professor Pierpaolo Antonello
College Lecturer in Italian, University Professor in Italian Literature and Culture
Modern and Medieval Languages

Twentieth century Italian writing and intellectual history, Futurism and the Avant-Garde, Literature and Science, Calvino, Postmodern Italian literature, French theory and epistemology (Girard, Serres).
Office: A5c New Court
Telephone: 37711
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Professor Neil S Arnold
College Lecturer and Director of Studies for Geography, University Lecturer in Geography and the Scott Polar Research Institute
The interactions between ice sheets, glaciers and climate at the present day, and in the past. Interactions between the hydrology and dynamics of glaciers. Mathematical models of these interactions. Development of computer-based, interactive teaching resources.
Office: I11 New Court
Telephone: 61024
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Arsan A
Professor Andrew Arsan
Professor in Arab and Mediterranean History, College Lecturer, Director of Studies in History Part II

Middle Eastern History
Modern Middle Eastern history and world history.
Office: I2 New Court
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Rakesh Arul
Dr Rakesh Arul
Natural Sciences (Physical)
Physics and Astrophysics
Photonics is the science of how light works and how light can do work. In his research Dr Arul creates the optical sensors of tomorrow by trapping and concentrating light to atomic scales with nanoparticles that are a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair.
During his PhD he designed new optical sensors to detect infrared light. The colours of molecules in the infrared, invisible to the naked eye, contain rich information about their chemical structure and identity. Being able to ‘see’ this invisible IR world has enabled disease diagnosis, art conservation, greenhouse gas monitoring and the stunning images of exoplanets. Despite such promise, IR detection remains far from democratised due to the costs and limited practical utility of existing technologies. During his PhD Dr Arul invented a new technology for IR detection by trapping IR light to the nanoscale and converting it into detectable visible light.
As a Research Fellow, Dr Arul hopes to combine physics with chemistry, and use light to control chemical reactions. By forming a new state of matter that is part light and part molecule, he aims to use light as a radical new tool to control chemical transformations that create sustainable fuels, such as hydrogen. He will also investigate and create new kinds of matter displaying exotic quantum behaviour that is impossible without extremely strong interaction between light and molecules.

Office: A2 Chapel Court
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Mete Atature
Professor Mete Atatüre
Director of Studies in Physics and Astrophysics, Director of Studies for Mathematics for Natural Sciences, College Lecturer in Physics, Tutor
Natural Sciences (Physical)
My research group’s activities are on quantum optics of novel materials for quantum technologies. In particular, our three main research themes are:
• Light-matter quantum interfaces in solids for quantum network hardware and approaches
• Optics of atomically thin quantum devices and emergent many-body physics based on heterostructures
• Nanoscale quantum sensing and imaging for novel phenomena and materials discovery

Office: A6 New Court
Telephone: 65624
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Graeme Barker
Professor Graeme W W Barker
Director of Studies of Archaeology, Emeritus Disney Prof of Archaeology, Senior Fellow, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Prehistoric archaeology. Landscape and environmental archaeology. Transitions from foraging to farming.
Office: 17A New Court
Telephone: 38622
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Professor Tim P Bayliss-Smith
University Emeritus Professor of Pacific Geography
Tropical rainforest management, logging and indigenous social institutions in Solomon Islands and Fiji; agricultural intensification and population change in pre-colonial Melanesia.
Office: G5 Second Court
Telephone: 38715
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Professor Richard Beadle
Emeritus Professor of Medieval English Literature and Palaeography, Fellow Librarian
Medieval and early modern English literature, the early history of European drama; palaeography, bibliography, textual and editorial studies, and the history of the book.
Office: Old Treasury, A First Court
Telephone: 38716
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Professor Serena M Best
College Lecturer in Materials Science and Metallurgy, Professor of Materials Science
Natural Sciences (Physical)
Materials Science
The production and characterisation of ceramic materials for medical application. The evaluation of bioactive materials for bone replacement and bone repair. The development of a new generation of pharmaceutical biomaterials.
Office: D4 Third Court
Telephone: 38736
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Alexander Bird
Professor Alexander Bird
College Supervisor in Philosophy , Director of Studies in Philosophy , Bertrand Russell Professor of Philosophy
Philosophy of science, history and philosophy of medicine, metaphysics, epistemology,
Office: Flat 2, Merton Cottage
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Dr M Boemo
Dr Michael Boemo
Sub-Director of Studies in Mathematics for Natural Sciences (Biology), College Lecturer in Mathematics for Biology
Medical Science

Genomic Instability
Dr Boemo is interested in genomic instability, which is characterised by the rapid accumulation of mutations commonly observed in cancer cells. His particular focus lies in understanding how genomic instability is instigated by defective DNA replication and repair mechanisms. Having completed a BA in Mathematics at Rutgers University and a PhD in Physics at the University of Oxford, he addresses this complex issue through the lenses of mathematics and computer science by developing machine learning and high-performance simulation techniques to unravel the underlying causes of DNA replication and repair defects. This approach allows for exploring novel avenues for targeting these defects with therapeutic interventions, both in human cancer cells and pathogens. Currently, Dr Boemo holds the position of Assistant Professor of AI and Machine Learning in Disease, with a joint appointment in the Department of Pathology and the Department of Genetics.
Office: Cripps A23
Telephone: 333732
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Pat Boyde
Professor Patrick Boyde
Emeritus Professor of Italian
Modern and Medieval Languages

The interaction between Dante’s thought and poetry; Dante and the visual arts; rival theories and styles in the declamation of Homer; the first performance in London (1635) of a play by Corneille (1606-84).
Office: Room 1, Flat 3, Merton House
Telephone: 38748
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Graham Burton
Professor Graham J Burton
Mary Marshall and Arthur Walton Professor of the Physiology of Reproduction, Director, Centre for Trophoblast Research, Formerly College Lecturer in Veterinary Medicine
Medical Science
Placental development and function. The role of placental stress in early pregnancy failure, growth restriction and pre-eclampsia. Early fetal nutrition and metabolism, and developmental programming of adult disease.
Office: F1 Second Court (shared)
Telephone: 38745
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Dr Stefano Castelvecchi
College Lecturer in Music, University Lecturer in Music
Eighteenth-and nineteenth-century opera, Mozart and Rossini, textual criticism, genre.
Office: I10 New Court
Telephone: 38710
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Dr Marie Chabbert
Dr Marie Chabbert
Research Fellow
Modern and Medieval Languages
Marie Chabbert is a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge's St John's College. Her research, which is situated at the crossroads between French and Religious Studies, focuses on the so-called 'return of religion' at the forefront of international preoccupations and interrogates how French thinkers including Georges Bataille, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Jean-Luc Nancy and Bruno Latour, inaugurate new perspectives for thinking faith in the so-called ‘postsecular’ age. She is currently working on her first monograph to be entitled Faithful Deicides: Contemporary French Thought and the Eternal Return of Religion.

Prior to obtaining her PhD from the University of Oxford, Marie completed a double-BA in Political Sciences and Modern French Culture at SciencesPo Paris and La Sorbonne IV, an MPhil in Comparative European Cultures at the University of Cambridge, and an MSc in Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics.

As part of a wider commitment to public engagement in the humanities, Marie works as a freelance journalist for the Religion section of the French newspaper Le Monde and has written for the French intellectual magazine Esprit. She is also an Executive Committee member of the European Interfaith Youth Network of Religions for Peace, the largest international coalition of representatives from the world’s religions dedicated to promoting multi-religious cooperation for peace. In January 2021, Marie was chosen as a Young Religious Leader-Media Maker by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center for their Edin (Empowering Dialogue & Interfaith Networks) programme.

Office: K2 First Court
Telephone: 38696
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Professor Adam Chau
Professor Adam Chau
Professor in the Anthropology of China, College Lecturer in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Office: C4b North Court
Telephone: 46493
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J Colley
Dr John Colley
Dr Colley works on classical reception and translation across late medieval and Renaissance English literature, with an emphasis on the print and manuscript contexts of literary production. His research contends that translation and classical reception studies offer especially insightful lenses for interrogating broader issues of intellectual history.

In his doctoral thesis on Tudor humanism and the translation of Greek, he took a new, more generically diverse approach to reception scholarship. In particular, he argued that the classical tradition in early Tudor England was as much a matter of Homer’s reception as of the reception of authors such as St John Chrysostom and Eusebius: the thesis painted a history of classical reception that was never straightforwardly classical.

At St John’s, he is developing his classical reception work with a new monograph project, ‘Comedy and the Classical Tradition: Drama in England from Frulovisi to Shakespeare’. Reading extensively between vernacular and neo-Latin texts, this project will revise the history of comedy’s evolution in England across an ambitiously broad period, from the 1430s to the 1620s. What were the distinctive features of an emergent English dramatic tradition forged in the wake of classical drama?

Office: K2 1st Court
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Dr Sue M Colwell
Tutor, College Lecturer in Mathematics for Natural Sciences
Mathematics for Natural Sciences
Non-linear dynamics. Applications to molecular vibration-rotation spectra. Molecular Quantum Mechanics. Time-dependent Density Functional Theory methods for electromagnetic molecular properties.
Office: A9b New Court
Telephone: 38612/38790
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Professor Simon Conway Morris
Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Palaeobiology
Natural Science (Biological)
Analysis of evolutionary convergence and role of historical contingency. The Cambrian "explosion" and Burgess Shale-type faunas. Early evolution of the deuterostomes. Debates in science and religion.
Office: K4 First Court
Telephone: 38643
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