St John's College News

  1. New Chaplain appointed by St John’s College pledges to explore ‘faith and the big questions of life’

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  2. New atlas of proteins reveals inner workings of cells

    “We hope this generates opportunities for researchers and opens up new possibilities for intervention in diseases”
    Cambridge scientists have developed an ‘atlas’ describing how proteins act inside human cells that could help in the design of new drugs to treat dementia and many cancers. The AI tool could be used to search for the origins of such diseases that are related to proteins misbehaving. The atlas, which is published today (10/7/2024) in Nature Communications, allows the researchers to find new…read more
  3. Fellow of St John’s College named as next Master of Gonville & Caius

    “I am excited to be joining such a diverse community as together we continue the College’s legacy of impactful, academic excellence”
    Professor Richard Gilbertson, FRS, FMedSci, FRCP, EMBO, a pioneering children’s cancer specialist and Fellow of St John’s College, has been announced as the next Master of Gonville & Caius College. Fellows of Gonville & Caius expressed their intention at a meeting yesterday (26 June) to pre-elect Professor Gilbertson as the 44th Master of the College. He is due to take office on 1…read more
  4. Geneticist to head up pioneering new research into sustainable crops and ecosystems

    “This will have a transformative impact on our understanding of past ecosystem change and its application to agricultural sustainability”
    St John’s Fellow Professor Eske Willerslev is leading a major new research project into how ancient environmental DNA can be harnessed to develop climate change-resilient crops. A grant of up to DKK (Danish krone) 585 million – more £66.3 million – has been awarded to the Ancient Environmental Genomics Initiative for Sustainability (AEGIS) by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the…read more
  5. Green award sees College go platinum for fourth time

    Accreditation ‘a fitting endorsement of the thoughtful long term progress we are making on sustainability across the College’
    St John’s College has won the highest accolade in the University of Cambridge’s environmental award scheme for the fourth year in a row. Fellows, staff and students have been working hard on green initiatives over the past year to make the College community an even more sustainable place to live, study and work. Now St John’s has been awarded Platinum in this year’s Green Impact awards, an…read more
  6. ‘Visionary’ Fellow wins Royal Society prize for pioneering work in solar chemistry

    "The Tilden Prize is further recognition of Erwin’s ground-breaking research and visionary approach”
    Professor Erwin Reisner, a Fellow of St John’s College, has been awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Tilden Prize for his ground-breaking work in creating sustainable fuels through solar energy, water and recaptured carbon dioxide. Tilden Prizes are presented for outstanding contributions to chemistry research made by established career scientists. Announced today (12 June 2024), the prize…read more
  7. Academic who is ‘rewriting human history’ with DNA research awarded global science prize

    “His work has broad scientific impact, forcing us to rethink the origins and evolution of human groups, languages, and behaviour”
    A Fellow of St John’s College has been announced as the winner of the 2024 Albert Einstein World Award of Science in recognition of his groundbreaking work in evolutionary genetics. Professor Eske Willerslev, who sequenced the first ancient human genome and pioneered the field of environmental DNA, has been awarded the prize by the World Cultural Council (WCC). The Albert Einstein World Award…read more
  8. Pivotal role played by St John’s in D-Day landings

    The Normandy invasion was one of the largest military assaults in history
    D-Day – a major turning point in the Second World War - was organised by army officers in the Combination Room at St John’s College. On 6 June 1944, 156,000 British, US and Canadian troops landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of the Normandy region of France. Codenamed Operation Neptune and now known as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in…read more
  9. Winners of Student Art & Photography Competition 2024 are announced

    Annual competition showcases students’ creative skills
    The winners and runners-up in the 2024 St John’s College Student Art and Photography Competition have been announced. Submissions in the form of photographs, paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, jewellery and digital films were invited for the competition, which was open to all Junior Members of College in residence, with prizes of up to £200 up for grabs. The competition…read more
  10. Rare ‘Naked Hanging Man Orchid’ reveals itself at St John’s College

    “It is the find of a lifetime”
    A protected orchid that looks like a naked man has caught gardeners by surprise in the grounds of St John’s College, Cambridge. The Orchis Simia is known as the ‘Naked Hanging Man Orchid’, and more commonly as the ‘Monkey Orchid’, because of its resemblance to a naked male or a monkey. The orchid is one of the rarest native orchids in the UK and delighted gardeners at St John’s College when a…read more
  11. Andrew Chamblin Memorial Concert 2024

    World-renowned organist to perform at annual tribute concert
    The 18th annual Andrew Chamblin Memorial Concert will be given by British conductor, organist and pianist Wayne Marshall OBE at 8pm in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, on Thursday 20 June 2024 and will also be livestreamed online. Mr Marshall, who is world-renowned for his musicianship and versatility on the podium and on the keyboard, will play an hour-long programme of organ works by Dupré,…read more
  12. The new ‘recipe for light-emitting molecules’ that rewrites a fundamental law of physics

    “This research has a huge implication for three technologies – organic solar cells, OLED display technology and bioimaging”
    Cambridge scientists have designed a molecule ‘recipe’ that could advance display and solar technology as we know it – from medical imaging equipment and smartphones to how sunlight is converted into electricity. For more than 50 years, the energy gap law has been a key theory to understand and model the non-radiative loss pathways in organic molecules. Scientists established that organic…read more
  13. Newell Classical Event 2024

    Poet Alice Oswald to give lecture celebrating the classical world
    The Newell Classical Event 2024 will present award-winning poet Alice Oswald in ‘Message from a Lost Play’, a lecture based on the fragments of the Psychostasia (‘weighing of souls') of  Aeschylus, the Ancient Greek dramatist.  The event, which celebrates the classical world, will take place at 7.15pm on Thursday 16 May at St John's College. All are very welcome. Alice…read more
  14. Tributes paid to late Law Fellow also known for his love of bicycles and photography

    “Malcolm was an outstanding scholar in his field – modest about his achievements – and a supportive and kind colleague”
    Professor Malcolm Alistair Clarke, an alumnus and Fellow of St John’s College who taught Law to generations of students, has died at the age of 81. Professor Clarke, Professor Emeritus of Commercial Contract Law, first came to St John’s as an undergraduate to study Law in 1961. After graduating, he began his academic career as a Research Fellow at Fitzwilliam College from 1966-1968. He spent…read more
  15. Professor Charles Swanton gives the Linacre Lecture 2024

    Air pollution and cancer link is explored in historic annual lecture
    The 2024 Linacre Lecture was given by Professor Charles Swanton, Deputy Clinical Director of The Francis Crick Institute, on Thursday 15 February in the Old Divinity School at St John's College. Professor Swanton’s lecture looks at his lab’s research into the links between air pollution and non-small cell lung cancer. Listen to the lecture below or follow this link. The annual Linacre…read more
  16. Music in College at St John’s – a statement

    Music in College at St John’s – a statement A comprehensive review of music in College was recently completed. After considering the recommendations of the review, the St John’s College Council made a unanimous decision to pursue a broader approach to other co-curricular opportunities in music for our nearly 1,000 students. This direction reflects our students’ feedback on their needs and…read more
  17. Buttery, Bar and Café scoop top design award

    “This award is fantastic external endorsement of the brilliant redevelopment, where we put sustainability and energy efficiency front and centre”
    The College’s Buttery, Bar and Café building project has won a prestigious engineering and sustainability prize in the Greater Cambridge Design and Construction Awards, beating nominees across all categories. The new social spaces, which opened in January 2023 after an 18-month construction programme, were announced as the winner of the David MacKay Award for Engineering and Sustainability at…read more
  18. Physiologist dies at the age of 85

    Fellow was former Head of MRC Neuroendocrine Development and Behaviour Group
    Dr John Bower Hutchison, an alumnus, Fellow and former College lecturer in Physiology at St John’s, has died. After taking a degree at the former University of Natal (now part of the University of KwaZulu-Natal) in South Africa from 1956-61, Dr Hutchison came to St John’s College in 1964 to study Zoology. He was a Fellow in Physiology at the College from 1967-70 and returned in 1975 after being…read more
  19. Early-career writers invited to apply for 2024-2025 Harper-Wood Award

    Funding up to £18,600 available for winning author or poet
    St John’s College, Cambridge is offering emerging authors and poets the chance to turn the pages of their career with the launch of this year’s Harper-Wood Creative Writing and Travel Award for English Poetry and Literature. Applications open on Wednesday 21 February 2024 for the award, which was established by the College in 1949 to inspire an undertaking of creative writing by making it…read more
  20. Impact of climate emergency on pregnant women explored thanks to £2m funding

    “Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to the health impacts of extreme heat”
    A group of 700 pregnant women in The Gambia will be studied as part of a collaborative research project examining how high temperatures where they live affect them and their babies. One of the leaders of the four-year study is Amanda Sferruzzi-Perri, Professor in Fetal and Placental Physiology at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John’s College. The £2m Wellcome Trust grant will…read more
  21. Gunpowder, treason and plot: the 1,000-year history of traitors and faithfuls

    “The law of treason evolves over centuries and was used as a weapon of control and deterrent”
    From the Bible to smash-hit BBC television show The Traitors, being accused of betrayal is a sure-fire way to become notorious.   Everyone has heard of Judas, Guy Fawkes, and Anne Boleyn, not least because treason is the most serious crime that anyone can commit – under English law it is considered…read more
  22. Student vocalist makes it to Battle of the Bands final

    “It promises to be an electrifying night, showcasing the best of Cambridge's student talent”
    A singer from St John’s could win the chance to perform on the main stage at Cambridge Club Festival after making it through to the University’s Battle of the Bands competition final. Alice Markham, a second-year English undergraduate and Choral Scholar in The Choir of St John’s College, is the lead singer in soul and funk band Soft Crunchy Landing, which is among four student bands gearing up…read more
  23. ‘Outstanding’ students win Larmor Awards for studies and community work

    ‘Intellectual qualifications, moral conduct and practical activities’ recognised
    A powerlifter and a charity campaigner are among five graduates of St John’s to be honoured with 2023 Larmor Awards for their exceptional academic work and contributions to College life and beyond. The awards began in the 1940s to recognise ‘intellectual qualifications, moral conduct, or practical activities’ and are named after Sir Joseph Larmor, a 20th-century physicist and mathematician who…read more
  24. Air pollution and cancer link explored at 2024 Linacre Lecture

    Historic lecture to be delivered by Professor Charles Swanton of The Francis Crick Institute
    Professor Charles Swanton, Deputy Clinical Director at The Francis Crick Institute, will give the 2024 St John’s College Linacre Lecture. This year’s lecture will take place on Thursday 15 February at 5.30pm in the Main Lecture Theatre of the Old Divinity School. The Swanton Lab studies how cancers evolve in the body to spread and become resistant to therapy and finds new ways to treat…read more
  25. Ancient DNA reveals reason for high multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s rates in Europe

    “These results change our view of the causes of multiple sclerosis and have implications for the way it is treated”
    Researchers have created the world’s largest ancient human gene bank by analysing the bones and teeth of almost 5,000 humans who lived across western Europe and Asia up to 34,000 years ago. By sequencing ancient human DNA and comparing it to modern-day samples, the international team of experts mapped the historical spread of genes – and diseases – over time as populations migrated. The ‘…read more