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St John's College News

  1. College nurse campaigning to change UK university allergy rules

    "Those who have an anaphylactic reaction are at risk of death if adrenaline is not readily available"
    A campaign to make it easier for students with severe allergies to have access to lifesaving Epipens is being supported by the on-site nurse at St John’s College. Emma Dellar is fundraising for The Anaphylaxis Campaign which is lobbying for legal changes which would allow Higher Education medical staff to store Epipens and other adrenaline auto injector devices (AAIs) onsite. Staff at UK Higher…read more
  2. Discovery of RNA transfer through royal jelly could aid development of honey bee vaccines

    "Bees share ‘transmissible RNA’ among members of the colony, likely as a way of sharing immunity"
    A team of researchers including Dr Eric Miska, Fellow at St John’s, have discovered that honey bees are able to share immunity with other bees and to their offspring in a hive by transmitting RNA ‘vaccines’ through royal jelly and worker jelly. The jelly is the bee equivalent of mother’s milk: a secretion used to provide nutrition to worker and queen bee larvae. The findings suggest new ways to…read more
  3. Rugby and hockey captains win awards celebrating outstanding sportspeople

    The Colours Dinner recognises the exceptional achievements and good character of sporting students
    St John’s students Charlie Smith and Zengani Nyirenda were honoured with prizes for their significant contributions to College sport at this year’s Annual General Athletics Club Colours Dinner (known as the Colours Dinner). Smith, who captains the men’s rugby team, was presented with the Bob Fuller trophy and Nyirenda, captain of the women’s hockey team, was awarded the Jim Williams trophy by Dr…read more
  4. World-famous choir release 100th recording to mark 150th anniversary of St John’s Chapel

    To celebrate the launch of the new album, Classic FM will live stream the Choir’s Evensong in Chapel to its Facebook page
    Choral classics from the past two centuries will feature on the new album from the Choir of St John’s to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the College Chapel. The construction of a new Chapel at St John’s in 1869 was intended to reflect the College’s royal status as a foundation of Lady Margaret Beaufort, philanthropist and mother of King Henry VII. The grand Victorian building was designed…read more
  5. How far would you get in University Challenge? Take our quiz to find out

    Do you have what it takes to face the famously tough questions? Do you know your geography from your geometry?
    From left: John-Clark Levin, Rosie McKeown, James Devine-Stoneman and Matt Hazel in the 2018 University Challenge finalIt’s that time of year again – the nation is gearing up to watch the hotly contested University Challenge final. This time last year University Challenge fever was running high in College as the St John’s team were gearing up for their first ever appearance in a final. They…read more
  6. Spy drama Red Joan premieres in cinemas

    Red Joan is based on the true story of Melita Norwood who was unmasked as the KGB’s longest-serving British spy
    The silver screen adaptation of a novel written by a graduate of St John’s and partly filmed at St John’s is released in cinemas on Friday. Red Joan puts a fictional spin on the true story of Melita Norwood, a woman unmasked as the KGB’s longest-serving British spy when she was 87-years-old. Parisa Taghizadeh © Trademark (Red Joan) Ltd 2018read more
  7. Secret recordings reveal the sexual struggles of Fifties Britain

    "And as we try to come to terms with 21st century sexual pressures, it might help to reflect on what this generation went through in the 1950s"
    How women tried to overcome sexual difficulties at a pivotal moment in Britain's sex history has been studied by Dr Caroline Rusterholz, Historian and College Research Associate at St John’s. She examined incredibly rare audio recordings of Britain’s earliest sexual counselling sessions for the first time. In these recordings women confided painful secrets about their physical discomfort, fears…read more
  8. ‘Truly exceptional’ John’s academic named as prestigious Schmidt Science Fellow

    "We are tremendously excited to welcome this new class to the community of Schmidt Science Fellows. We cannot wait to see what they will accomplish in the years to come"
    An incoming Research Fellow at St John’s has been named as one of the 20 members of the 2019 class of Schmidt Science Fellows. Kadi Liis Saar was elected as one of our five new Research Fellows that will join St John’s in October 2019. Saar studied Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology via Natural Sciences at Trinity College, Cambridge, before progressing to an MEng (Hons) in Chemical…read more
  9. St John’s academics nominated in student-led awards for innovative teaching

    "The awards are a great opportunity for students to highlight the kinds of teaching and support they value and would like to see more of"
    Five members of the St John’s community have been shortlisted for the 2019 Cambridge University Students’ Union awards for their commitment to teaching and student support. The annual Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) teaching awards are presented in recognition of outstanding lecturers, supervisors, tutors, and Directors of Studies at the University of Cambridge. Two members of the…read more
  10. St John’s to welcome exceptional Gates Cambridge Scholars

    Nine academically outstanding postgraduate students will be joining the St John’s community later this year as part of the Gates Cambridge Scholars programme. The nine future Johnians were selected by the Gates Cambridge Scholarship Programme from a highly competitive pool of applicants for their academic achievements and their strong commitment to improving the lives of others. They will be…read more
  11. Emma Corrin to play Princess Diana in Netflix smash-hit series The Crown

    "I am beyond excited and honoured to be joining The Crown for its fourth season"
    St John’s alumna Emma Corrin has been cast as Princess Diana in season four of The Crown. The critically acclaimed Netflix drama follows the political rivalries and royal scandals of the reign of The Queen. It has received more than 15 international awards for the cast and crew including the Golden Globe for Best Television Series. Each season of the drama covers several years of the Queen’s…read more
  12. Meet the St John’s Research Fellows 2019

    St John's College has elected five exceptional new Research Fellows to join our vibrant academic community. The Research Fellowships provide the opportunity for outstanding researchers early in their careers to carry out independent study in a stimulating and supportive environment. The areas of study of the new academics range from analysing the work of Latin satirists Horace and Persius to…read more
  13. Scientists genetically engineer yeast to improve understanding of how cells work

    "We used mathematical modelling and genetic modification to edit the cell and retune what its response should be"
    Researchers have ‘fine-tuned’ a major cell signalling mechanism by rewriting DNA inside yeast cells to control how they respond to their environment. The study, which was published today by Cell, has immediate biotechnology uses but could also have wider implications for healthcare research. It is hoped being able to alter how cells react will help scientists understand how diseased cells…read more
  14. Painting of mother of King Henry VII revealed as oldest large-scale portrait of an English woman

    “This portrait of Lady Margaret Beaufort is one of the most important portraits of the early 16th century”
    A portrait of Lady Margaret Beaufort has been named as the first piece of work identified as being painted by 16th century Dutch artist Meynnart Wewyck – solving a 500-year-old mystery. Wewyck was an active member of King Henry VII’s court during his reign and became his preferred painter. But until now the absence of a signed or documented work has made it impossible to attribute paintings to…read more
  15. Historian of medicine admitted as Affiliated Scholar at St John’s

    Dr Dobson has held a number of prestigious Research Fellowships
    Dr Mary Dobson has been made a member of St John’s College. The historian of medicine has wide ranging interests in global health.  She read Geography at St. Hugh’s College, University of Oxford, and was awarded a BA with First Class honours in 1976 and a DPhil at Nuffield College, Oxford, in 1982. She is the author of numerous publications ranging from academic articles and monographs to…read more
  16. Researchers to sequence 10,000-year-old DNA to decode the evolution of mental health issues

    The scientists aim to shed light on the evolution of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia
    A team of international scientists will analyse the DNA of thousands of ancient human remains to map the genetic origins of neuropsychiatric diseases. Professor Eske Willerslev, a Fellow at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, and his team of international researchers will build one of the largest genomic datasets ever created by sequencing the DNA from bones and teeth with some of the…read more
  17. Dean of Chapel shortlisted for international writing award

    "All of the shortlisted writers have a deep sense of life as a mysterious gift to be explored. To be named alongside them is wonderful and humbling.”
    The Reverend Canon Mark Oakley, Dean of Chapel at St John’s, has been shortlisted for the Michael Ramsey Prize for the 'most promising contemporary theological writing from the global Church'. Canon Oakley’s book The Splash of Words: Believing in poetry has been named along with the authors of five other books including Rachel Mann and Keith Eyeons. The Splash of Words argues that belief in…read more
  18. From race track to Master's Lodge - Sir Christopher rehomes a greyhound

    It’s a student’s life for retired racing greyhound
    A retired racing greyhound named Jim has taken up residence at St John’s after being adopted by the Master of the College.  Four-year-old Jim, whose racing name is Kairi Jem, raced at Henlow Greyhound Stadium and won six races during his career. Since retiring from the track, Jim’s trainer Kelli Windebank has been searching for the perfect home for his retirement and is delighted to have now…read more
  19. Skeletons in the Closet at St John's

    The exhibition is part of the Science Festival and will take place on Saturday 23 March from 11am-5pm
    The bones of men and women buried at a medieval cemetery found underneath the Old Divinity School will feature in a free exhibition held in College as part of the Cambridge Science Festival. Skeletons in the Closet at St John’s will explore the fascination we have had for centuries with human, animal and even insect skeletons. On display will be 15th century manuscripts including College founder…read more
  20. Professor Serena Best wins award celebrating women in science

    Serena Best, Fellow of St John’s College and Professor of Materials Science, has been awarded a Suffrage Science Award for her scientific achievements. The fourth Engineering & Physical Sciences Suffrage Science Awards, held on International Women’s Day, 8 March, saw 12 leading and pioneering female scientists and engineers from around the world presented with awards of hand-crafted…read more
  21. Memorial Service for Dr Christopher Johnson

    The memorial service will take place on 27 April
    A Memorial Service for Dr Christopher Michael Paley (Chris) Johnson, M.A., Ph.D., Fellow and former Senior Bursar of St John’s College, will be held at St John’s College on 27 April 2019. Dr Christopher Johnson died on January 5 2019, just three days short of his 88th birthday. Born in Blackpool on January 8 1931, Dr Johnson was educated at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Blackburn before…read more
  22. Keeping it clean: Housekeeping at St John’s

    Louise Offley has been a bedmaker at St John’s for 35 years, making her the longest serving member of the Housekeeping department
    From vacuuming around students in bed to cleaning Fellows’ rooms – Louise Offley, the longest serving member of the Housekeeping department, has seen it all. She tells Louise Hanzlik about her three decades at St John’s, and how climbing the stairs doesn’t get any easier. With the mirror polished, the bathroom gleaming, the washing up done, the surfaces dusted, and the carpet vacuumed, Louise…read more
  23. From black armbands to withheld wages – the chequered history of women at St John’s

    “Is a pretty girl less pleasing to us because she can understand us when we speak something better than nonsense?”
    Women may not have come to study at St John’s until the 1980s, but as Hazel Lawrence finds out, they have played a crucial role in our history. St John’s would not exist if it wasn’t for women. One of them you will already be familiar with – Lady Margaret Beaufort. The financial legacy of the mother of King Henry VII enabled the foundation of St John’s in 1511. Our Boathouse bears her name and…read more
  24. Women of the JCR

    "I love St John’s and the people in it, but there are things about the view people hold of the College that I want to change”
    When Sharon Chen Cooper, the first female undergraduate student to be admitted to St John’s, arrived in 1982 the flag was flying at half-mast and the Head Porter was wearing a black armband. Jo Tynan meets the female members of the Junior Combination Room (JCR) committee to find out how life has changed. Trekking across the courts in search of a toilet is thankfully a thing of the past for…read more
  25. Newell Classics Event 2019

    What Have the Romans Ever Done For Us?
    The Newell Classics Event 2019, celebrating the classical world, will take place at St John’s College on 2 May. The lecture will be given by Walter Scheidel and is entitled: ‘What Have the Romans Ever Done For Us?’ Walter Scheidel will be presenting his hypothesis that the fall of Rome was the making of Europe, and will be discussing it with Professor Sheilagh Ogilvie. Walter Scheidel is…read more