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St John's College News

  1. ‘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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. Adams Prize winners 2018-19 announced

    The Adams Prize commemorates John Couch Adams’s role in the discovery of the planet Neptune
    The University of Cambridge has announced the winners of one of its oldest and most prestigious prizes. The Adams Prize is awarded jointly each year by the Faculty of Mathematics and St John’s College to UK-based researchers, under the age of 40, doing first class international research in the Mathematical Sciences. This year’s topic was 'The Mathematics of Networks', and the prize has been…read more
  20. PhD student at St John’s selected as one of the 2019 ‘New Generation Thinkers’

    “More than ever we need the new insights that come from arts and humanities researchers to help us navigate the complexities of our globalised world"
    Ten researchers from across the UK have been announced as ‘New Generation Thinkers’ by BBC Radio 3, BBC Arts and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) today. From techno music in Berlin to the post-war ‘rag trade’, and divisive dams to fake news, the researchers from across the UK will have the opportunity to communicate their research by making programmes for radio and television for…read more
  21. Cambridge University’s highest degrees for ‘distinguished research’ awarded to two St John’s Fellows

    The LittD and ScD are highest level of degrees given by the University and only a handful of them are awarded each year
    The President of St John’s and Professor Eske Willerslev both received the highest possible academic accolade from the University of Cambridge at a ceremony on Saturday. Dr Frank Salmon, President of St John’s, and Professor Eske Willerslev, College Supervisor in Zoology, were awarded a Doctor of Letters (LittD) and a Doctor of Science degree (ScD) respectively. The LittD and ScD are highest…read more
  22. Decade of academic excellence celebrated as St John's marks 10 years of Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarships

    "The values, the ideas and the discipline instilled in me at Cambridge have lasted through my life”
    Ten years ago the first Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarship students arrived at St John’s – now 19 scholars have completed their doctoral studies and another four are in residence. Dr Singh was Prime Minister of India from 2004 to 2014. He is a graduate and Honorary Fellow of St John’s College where he was awarded a BA in Economics in 1957. It was an experience that had a profound impact on him, and…read more
  23. Harper-Wood Studentship Applications 2019

    Harper-Wood Studentship Applications 2019
    Applications are now being accepted for the Harper-Wood Studentship for English Poetry and Literature 2019. This one-year Studentship is an opportunity for a student who has graduated from any British University (i.e. England, Scotland and Wales), Ireland, the Commonwealth or the United States of America to pursue their own creative writing project. Previous holders include Thom Gunn, Michael…read more
  24. Physicists get thousands of semiconductor nuclei to do ‘quantum dances’ in unison

    "This is a Holy Grail breakthrough for quantum dot research – both for quantum memory and fundamental research"
    A team of Cambridge researchers have found a way to control the sea of nuclei in semiconductor quantum dots so they can operate as a quantum memory device. Quantum dots are crystals made up of thousands of atoms, and each of these atoms interacts magnetically with the trapped electron.  If left alone to its own devices, this interaction of the electron with the nuclear spins, limits the…read more
  25. When real men wore feathers

    “We’ve all heard the phrase ‘to put a feather in your cap’ but Schwarz took this to another level”
    The recreation of a Renaissance headdress reveals how European men harnessed the seductive power of ostrich feathers. From burlesque dancers to catwalk models and Hollywood stars, ostrich feathers have helped countless women steal the limelight. But this wasn’t always the case. In the sixteenth century, it was Europe’s men who wielded the sensual plume to increase their fame and fortune. Now,…read more