Directory of College Associates

Ruth-armstrong
Dr Ruth Armstrong
College Research Associate
Law
Criminology: Desistance
What happens to us, individually, when we connect with others, socially? My research looks at how people rebuild their lives after being convicted of criminal offences. I have especially focussed on the role of faith, faith communities, trust and interactions between identity, agency, social structures and criminal justice practices. I have studied people’s experiences of this process as they are released from prison and during the years immediately after release and when they are imprisoned in high security prisons often with many years still to serve and sometimes when release is unlikely or impossible. Building on this, my current research involves the implementation and evaluation of a programme where university students and prisoners learn together within a prison. It is informed by previous work on intergroup contact theory and desistance theory.
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Barbara Bernardim de Souza
Dr Barbara Bernardim de Souza
College Research Associate
Natural Sciences (Physical)
Chemistry
As a Royal Society Newton International Fellow at the Department of Chemistry, I perform research towards targeted cancer therapies by developing antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). Unlike traditional chemotherapy, which affects both tumour and proliferating healthy cells, ADCs are designed to specifically target and kill tumour cells while sparing the healthy ones. This is possible due to the capability of an antibody to recognise and bind to a specific antigen that is overexpressed in cancer cells. The structure of an ADC is complex, but fundamentally composed of an antibody linked to a cytotoxic drug. Despite the encouraging fact that five ADCs are already available on the market, there are still many problems to solve, including the premature cleavage of the drug from the antibody, leading to off-target toxicity. Could we create a stable chemical ligation between the antibody and the anticancer payload that will only fragment and activate after binding to the antigen on the tumour? My research has involved developing a reagent that creates such a linkage – resistant enough to survive before reaching the tumour cell. Improvements are ongoing to expand the applicability and power of this linker by applying it to the study and treatment of acute myeloid leukemia.
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Dr Theresa Biberauer
Director of Studies in Linguistics, College Teaching Associate
Modern and Medieval Languages

Theoretical and Applied Linguistics
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Caterina Bonan
College Research Associate
Modern and Medieval Languages
My field is theoretical linguistics and my work is set against Noam Chomsky’s nativist approach to human language. Accordingly, there exists an inborn cognitive capacity for language that requires minimal environmental stimulation for linguistic competence to develop during the early years of life. In this framework, seemingly different grammatical structures in the languages of the world are assumed to differ along fairly simple lines. More specifically, my work falls within so-called cartography, i.e. the attempt to draw maps of syntactic configurations that are as precise and detailed as possible. Because of its universal nature, all work stemming from the cartographic program is based firmly on the evidence coming from comparative and typological studies. My work has so far focussed on Romance comparative syntax, creolistics, dialectology, syntactic theory, and linguistic change. I have a doctoral dissertation on Northern Italian wh-questions, and I am now working on the morphosyntax of cleft questions in the Romance languages, under the supervision of Professor Adam Ledgeway. Information on my current research is available here: http://p3.snf.ch/project-184384.
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Dr Andrew Buskell
College Research Associate
Philosophy
"How should cultures be individuated? That is, how should human beings be sorted, if at all, into a set of different cultural groups? The problem raises important empirical issues; for instance, how to categorize archaeological assemblages, identify tips of phylogenetic trees, and determine the ontologies of cross-cultural databases. But this problem of individuation is also a central problem of political and legal theorizing: if the state has duties and obligations towards cultural minorities, that state should be able to determine what cultures are, and which ones are in the minority. My work analyses and synthesizes the various approaches that scientists, philosophers, and humanities scholars have used to describe and individuate cultures. At the same time, I address trenchant critiques of the very idea of ‘culture’ from researchers in social anthropology and science and technology studies."
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Ceren Camur
Dr Ceren Çamur
College Research Associate
Natural Sciences (Physical)
Dr Ceren Çamur completed her BS in Chemistry and MPhil in Organic Chemistry at Bilkent University Chemistry Department, Turkey. In 2016, she joined Supramolecular Nanochemistry And Materials Lab for her PhD studies at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2). After three years, she received her PhD in Materials Science from the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, concentrating on the field of Metal-Organic Frameworks.
At present, she is a research associate at Adsorption & Advanced Materials Lab at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on developing safe, green and cost-effective synthetic pathways for industrial production of Metal-Organic Frameworks for several applications, including gas storage and separation, adsorption heat pumps, drug delivery and catalysis, in collaboration with Immaterial Ltd.
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Dr Celia Castillo-Blas
Dr Celia Castillo-Blas
College Research Associate
Natural Sciences (Physical)
Chemistry
Dr Celia Castillo-Blas completed her PhD in Chemistry in 2019 supervised by Dr Felipe Gándara and Prof Ángeles Monge on the design of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with metal-cation arrangement control in secondary building units in the Institute of Materials Science of Madrid (CSIC). After that, she has worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Universidad Autonoma de Madrid under the supervision of Dr Ana Platero-Prats, where her research was focused on development of defective Zr-MOFs for the capture and degradation of toxic chemicals in water.

Celia moved to the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge in November 2020 as a Leverhulme Trust Postdoctoral Research Associate. Her current research is conducted under the supervision of Dr Thomas D. Bennett and focuses on the synthesis and characterization of MOF crystal-glass composites using advanced synchrotron techniques.
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Dr Alice Cezanne
Dr Alice Cezanne
College Research Associate
Natural Science (Biological)
Molecular Biology
Dr Alice Cezanne started her scientific career with a BSc. Hons. in Medical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in Biochemistry at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany. During her PhD she developed a passion for how membrane properties shape and regulate cellular processes. Having always been fascinated by astrobiology and the ability of living systems to survive a wide range of environments, she became interested in how cells can maintain a functional and dynamic membrane under extreme conditions. 

As a post-doctoral researcher at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Alice investigates how lipid membranes are physically and chemically remodelled during cell division in extremophile archaea. Despite dramatic differences in membrane lipids, cell division in some archaea is driven by homologues of the ESCRT-III complex, just as it is in many eukaryotes. Through investigation of how a conserved protein machinery can act on different membrane architectures, and how the membrane itself contributes to cytokinesis and abscission, Alice hopes to gain an understanding of principles that are fundamental to cell division as well as shed some light on the evolution of the comparatively more complex division machinery in eukaryotes.
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Dr C Davis
Dr Tereza Cindrova-Davies
College Teaching Associate
Natural Science (Biological)
Reproductive Biology
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Clarke A
Dr Alex Clarke
College Research Associate
Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (PBS)
How do we understand what we see? Our understanding of what we see is shaped by our environment. When we see an object, we are already in a complex and rich environment and this leads to expectations about the things we are likely to see. My research tests how the environment changes the dynamics of visual and semantic activity in the brain, using a multimodal brain imaging framework based on fMRI, MEG, EEG and mobile EEG, with emerging methodologies including augmented reality, computational modelling, multivariate analyses, neural oscillations and brain connectivity.
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Chris Cleaver
Dr Chris Cleaver
College Teaching Associate
Engineering
I research and invent more efficient ways to shape metal, including components for vehicles, aeroplanes and industrial equipment. I'm a senior member of the Use Less group in the Department of Engineering, who work on mapping industrial CO2 emissions and research the sustainable use of materials, energy and resources. At St. John's, I supervise the IA Engineering Structures and Materials course.
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Dallaire photo
Dr Alexandra Dallaire
College Research Associate
Natural Science (Biological)
Alexandra’s main research focus is on epigenetic mechanisms orchestrating gene expression. She is interested in how small non-coding RNAs work in complex relationships occurring in nature. Most living organisms exist in assemblages in which individuals and species interact. Sometimes, two or more species live purposefully in direct contact with each other and engage in relationships that are mutually beneficial; this is called symbiosis. The most widespread symbiosis on Earth occurs between species of fungi that associate with plant roots, forming relationships called mycorrhizae. She uses these symbiotic fungi to understand how small RNAs can program symbiosis.
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Dr Neville Dean
College Teaching Associate
Engineering
Electrical Engineering
I supervise the electrical engineering papers for Parts 1A and 1B of the Engineering Tripos. Over the years my research and teaching, both in industry and academia, has varied widely from electrical contacts and switchgear to the mathematical modelling and formal specification of digital systems. Currently I am writing a book on A Theory of Circuit Analysis.
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Degli Esposti E
Dr Emanuelle Degli Esposti
College Research Associate
Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
A specialist in the politics and emotions of minority identities, Dr Emanuelle Degli Esposti is currently based at the Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge, where she is conducting research on Muslim minorities in Europe. In particular, she is investigating forms of public activism and outreach by Twelver Shi’a Muslims, especially those that might be said to be geared towards the cultivation of a “European Shi’a” identity. As well as exploring the way in which Shi’a communities view and understand themselves, the project seeks to illuminate the ongoing encounter between Islam and Europe, as well as the evolving dynamics within and between different Islamic sects.

Dr Degli Esposti received her doctorate in Politics and International Studies from SOAS, University of London, where she also completed an MSc in Middle East Politics. She completed her undergraduate studies in Philosophy and Modern Languages at Lincoln College, Oxford. The editor and founder of online magazine The Arab Review, Emanuelle is also a published journalist and writer and has more than six years’ experience working in consultancy and intelligence analysis covering Europe and the Middle East.
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Dr Marieke Dhont
College Research Associate
Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion
Biblical Studies & Hellenistic Judaism
My main areas of interest are Hellenistic Judaism, the Hebrew Bible in the Hellenistic period (in particular the Septuagint, but also the Dead Sea Scrolls), and Jewish-Greek literature. In my research on ancient Jewish literature, I engage sociolinguistics and contemporary theories of culture, literature, and translation.
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Dr Andrea Dimitracopoulos
College Research Associate
Natural Science (Biological)
Neuronal Mechanics, Mechano-Biology, Neuroscience, Biophysics, Developmental Biology, Cell Biology
The role of the physical properties of neurons and their environment on axon formation during neuronal development.
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Dr Mark Fabian
College Research Associate
Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS)
Dr Mark Fabian is a Research Associate with the Bennett Institute for Public Policy in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge University. He was previously a Visiting Researcher at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC funded by the Australian-American Fulbright Commission. He completed his PhD in economics and a BA in philosophy, politics, and economics at the Australian National University. His research studies well-being from an interdisciplinary perspective, with a focus on public policy applications. He has written on what well-being is, how it can be measured and compared interpersonally, and the ethics of well-being public policy. His current research analyses how to chart a course between the citizen science and technocratic elements of well-being public policy to arrive at legitimate and ethical applications of psychological science.
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Dr Daniel Fuks
Dr Daniel Fuks
Archaeology
As an archaeobotanist, Daniel Fuks studies past human-plant interaction, with a primary geographic focus on the southern Levant. He seeks to bring the local archaeobotanical data he generates to bear on scholarship of long-term plant domestication and diffusion, ancient agriculture/pastoralism, and ancient economic history in the Mediterranean and beyond. He completed undergraduate degrees in Music and Economics at the University of Pittsburgh (USA) and an MA and PhD in Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University (Israel). In between degrees he also gained experience in small-scale vegetable, orchard, and vineyard cultivation in Israel. He conducted his PhD research as a member of the ERC-funded NEGEVBYZ project on the Byzantine-Islamic transition in the Negev, supervised by Prof Ehud Weiss (Bar-Ilan) and project PI, Prof Guy Bar-Oz (U. Haifa). He is currently a British Academy Newton International Fellow at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, U. Cambridge, supervised by Prof Matthew Collins and co-supervised by Prof Cyprian Broodbank. His research project, “The flowering desert”, aims to reconstruct first millennium CE agricultural developments in the Negev desert and beyond from ancient herbivore dung microbiomes and rubbish-dump plant remains. 
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Ghoshs
Dr Siddharth Ghosh
College Research Associate
Natural Sciences (Physical)
Physics
Sid is a German Research Foundation/DFG Fellow at the Centre for Misfolding Diseases and Maxwell Centre. He is developing a research programme on ultrafast non-dissipative nanofluidic detection of protein-misfolding. He is also a Visiting Researcher at the Single-Molecule Optics group, Leiden Institute of Physics and High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Radboud University. During his postdoctoral research at the Leiden Institute of Physics, he developed a new research line to study persistent current in resistive nanomaterials. The visiting position at Leiden enables him to continue this research. Before moving to Leiden, he was in the Debye Institute of Nanomaterials Science, Utrecht as a Postdoctoral Researcher working on non-dissipative single-molecule detection techniques. He received a PhD in Physics on 'Nanoscale Photonics' from the International Max Planck Research School for Physics of Biological and Complex Systems, Göttingen, Germany. During his PhD, he has developed methods on single-molecule nanofluidics and light-matter interaction in nanostructures. He has an MPhil in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Birmingham, UK where he worked on AFM correlated electron microscopy technique for contact-free nanotribological characterisation of complex collagen networks of articular cartilage. Before that, he was a Junior Research Fellow in the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore where he developed a single-photon lithography technique to fabricate high-aspect-ratio nanostructures for nanomechanical sensing. His research interests are experimental and theoretical nanophotonics, nanofluidics, nanomechanics, nanofabrications and didactic teaching. He is keen on developing an open platform of liberal arts for curiosity-driven research and studying a student dependent customised supervision methods, which turned into as Open Academic Research. Overleaf has awarded him an Overleaf Advisor position for his contribution to collaborative research communication.
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Dr Sofia Gotti
College Research Associate
History of Art
Dr Sofia Gotti is specialised in Latin American contemporary and feminist art practices in South America and Italy. She is the Newton Trust / Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Department of History of Art at the University of Cambridge where she is working on a monograph about alternative art practices and craft in South America. She has previously taught at The Courtauld Institute of Art, and she held courses on modern and contemporary art as well as feminist and de-colonial theory at Nuova Accademia delle Belle Arti (NABA) in Milan. As a curator, she has worked with organisations internationally including The Feminist Institute, Castello di Rivoli, FM-Centre for Contemporary Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Her research is published in edited books published by Wiley Blackwell and Courtauld Books, as well as academic journals and magazines including ArtMargins, Tate Papers, n.paradoxa, Revista Hispanica Moderna, FlashArt, Mousse, Nero and Art-Agenda.
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Dr Calbert Graham
College Research Associate
Linguistics
Phonetics (speech science)
My current research interests centre on phonetic (speech science) theory and its applications in forensic speaker identification (and, in my previous research, language technology). Forensic phonetics is concerned with the analysis of spoken language for investigative purposes where the characteristics of an individual’s speech are critical to their identity. More and more court cases involve the need to establish the speaker of some recorded speech - a hoax emergency call, a fraudulent phone transaction, and so on. However, voices are not like fingerprints or DNA. A person's voice varies, depending for instance on whether they are sober or not, how loud and fast he or she is speaking, among many other factors. Despite this wide variation in speech, however, it is still subject to structural constraints that make processing by both humans and machine possible. My research focusses on the computational modelling of speech to isolate the invariant properties of a person’s voice or speech uttered in different contexts that are critical to their identity.
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Dr Viola Introini
College Research Associate
Natural Sciences (Physical)
Dr Viola Introini is a Research Associate in Julian Rayner’s group at the
Cambridge Institute for Medical Research under the Junior
Interdisciplinary Wellcome Trust fellowship. She recently completed her
PhD in Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory under the supervision of Prof
Pietro Cicuta, as student of the Corpus Christi College. She studies the
malaria disease though live microscopy and biophysics, particularly the
mechanism by which malaria parasites invade human red blood cells. She
has given invited talks at a number of international conferences and
obtained funding for a field trip to the KEMRI Research Institute in
Kenya.
She graduated at the University of Pavia, Italy, obtaining the
Bachelor and Master’s degree in Physics, with a focus on photonics and
nonlinear optics. In Pavia and in Cambridge, she worked as teaching
assistant and laboratory demonstrator for first-year undergraduate
students.
She has been involved in outreach at the Cavendish Laboratory and in
consulting activities for Cambridge Consulting Network and i-Teams.
Loving nature and spending time outdoors, she undertook the Camino de
Santiago in 2015 and the UK National Three Peaks Challenge in 2018. She
nurtures multiple interests spanning from music and history, to crafts
such as making her own violin and knitting.

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Eva Kreysing
College Research Associate
Natural Science (Biological)
I studied physics at RWTH Aachen University (Germany) specialising in theoretical solid-state physics. During my master thesis, I worked at the Institute for Quantum Information (IQI, RWTH Aachen) with Prof. Dr. Barbara Terhal and Prof. Dr. David DiVincenzo on improving the readout of transmon qubits with squeezed radiation.
During my PhD, I worked at the research centre Jülich at the institute for bioelectronics (ICS-8) under supervision of Prof. Dr. Andreas Offenhäusser. Here, I focused on the improvement of surface plasmon resonance microscopy (SPRM) for the quantitative characterization of the cell-substrate interface. This allowed us, not only to study cell adhesion of neurons, but also to quantify the fluctuations of the adhering cell membrane of beating cardiomyocytes with nanometre accuracy. Additionally, we could introduce SPRM as a label-free, non-invasive method for measuring the intracellular refractive index in vitro.
In January 2019, I started my work as a postdoc in the Franze lab at the University of Cambridge. My research focuses on the impact of physical cues on the development of neuronal networks. In particular, I study how mechanical interactions between neurons and their environment influence their electrical maturation.
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Leah Lazar
Dr Leah Lazar
College Teaching Associate in Classics
Classics
I teach ancient history (and a bit of Latin translation) to classicists at St John’s, alongside my role as a lecturer in the Classics Faculty. My background is in Classical Greek political and economic history, but I enjoy teaching a wide range of topics. My primary research project is a study of the fifth-century BC Athenian empire, which reassesses the relationships between the Athenians and their subjects, and compares the functioning of Athenian power in varying regional contexts. I work with different kinds of evidence, including inscribed documents, material culture, coinage and literary texts.
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theresa lentfort
Theresa Lentfort
German Lector
Modern and Medieval Languages

German
As the DAAD Lector for German at St John’s, Sidney Sussex and Homerton College, Theresa Lentfort is teaching advanced grammar courses at the Department for German as well as German Audio Visual seminars and Translation into German. She is also supervising the students throughout their undergraduate studies for their Speaking and Use of German, Translation into German as well as German Text and Culture papers. Her research interests are in the field of linguistics, didactics and second language acquisition.
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