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Tim Allen - Natural Sciences (Physical)

Tim Allen first came to St John’s College in the summer of 2007 on a summer school organised by the Sutton Trust. At the time Tim was an A-level student at Great Baddow High School in Chelmsford, Essex. When he returned a year later to matriculate, he was certain he had made the right choice.

I chose St John’s after visiting the college in the summer of 2007. For me St John’s embodies everything that a Cambridge college should be - an academically challenging, but ultimately rewarding community which prides itself on its sense of identity and history. The opportunities available to students at St John’s are simply mind-boggling. Where else can you study at one of the best universities in the world, go home to a room in the spectacular 16th century first court, enjoy fine dining in the delights of the wood panelled, candlelit Senior Combination Room (making the Larmor Society for Natural Scientists annual dinner a must!), and top the year off at the 7th best party in the world - the May Ball. Every minute spent at St John’s is quite simply magical.

I knew when I came to Cambridge that my real passion was Chemistry. I was also interested in continuing to study Physics beyond A-level. My third first year option was Materials and Minerals Science. This turned out to be a good decision as it was an interesting introduction to crystallography which I went on to study further at Part IB in Minerals Science. In the second year I also studied Chemistry A & B and continued to study Chemistry for the final two years of my degree. The standard of teaching and support at the Department of Chemistry is very high and, being such a central science, can lead you down all sorts of pathways.

Tim is now studying for a PhD as part of Jonathan Goodman’s group in the Department of Chemistry and is still a member of St John’s. He works on new methods to improve toxicity testing by identifying molecular interactions that lead to adverse outcomes.