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St John's College News

  1. China’s most celebrated martial arts fiction writer Louis Cha has died aged 94

    "Generations are said to have owed their interest in reading itself to his fiction"
    The world’s biggest kung fu fantasy writer, Louis Cha OBE, has died in Hong Kong following a long illness. Known widely by his pen name Jin Yong, Cha’s books defined the genre known as wuxia for generations and led to him being known as the JRR Tolkien of Chinese literature. He wrote 15 novels throughout his illustrious career which were subsequently made into films, games, comics and television…read more
  2. Tapping the potential for science: Mutum Yaikhomba talks about his research

    "I am working in a place where Watson and Crick made their discoveries about DNA. The opportunities are enormous. Cambridge is a living legacy”
    Mutum Yaikhomba’s story is a tribute to the value of blue skies research. As an undergraduate he benefited from being given the freedom to experiment and explore at IISER Pune, where he was in one of its early cohort of students and where he was able to combine different disciplines to further his research interests. He is now reaping the rewards as he deepens his research into proteins in the…read more
  3. Winter is St John's

    "When you play a game of thrones you win or you die"
    Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams will visit Cambridge next month to take part in a free ‘In Conversation’ event at St John’s College. Cast as Arya Stark in the smash-hit fantasy television programme at the age of twelve, Williams has grown up on screen in Game of Thrones, an adaptation of a series of novels by George R. R. Martin. Williams’ character developed in successive seasons from…read more
  4. Hinsley Memorial Lecture 2018 to be given by Dr Nathalie Tocci

    The Hinsley Memorial Lecture will be given by Dr Nathalie Tocci
    The 18th Hinsley Memorial Lecture, taking place on 6 November at St John’s College, is to be given by Dr Nathalie Tocci. The lecture is entitled Academia and Practice in European foreign policy: What can we learn from each other? Dr Nathalie Tocci is Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali, Honorary Professor at the University of Tűbingen, and Special Adviser to EU HRVP Federica…read more
  5. Black Cantabs: History Makers exhibition opens at Cambridge University Library

    “The indelible mark black alumni have left on Cambridge, and the world" is the focus of the stunning photography exhibition
    A portrait of St John’s graduate Justina Kehinde Ogunseitan is now on display alongside fourteen other trailblazing black Cambridge graduates in the University Library. “The indelible mark black alumni have left on Cambridge, and the world" is the focus of the stunning photography exhibition of portraits of 15 notable black Cantabs in the halls of the library. The exhibition runs until December…read more
  6. Cambridge scientists reveal ground-breaking plan to target the cause of Alzheimer’s disease

    "This is the first time that a systematic method to go after the cause of Alzheimer’s disease has been proposed"
    A breakthrough has been made in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease – researchers have found a new way to target the toxic particles that destroy healthy brain cells. Academics at the University of Cambridge and at Lund University in Sweden have devised the first strategy to ‘go after’ the cause of the devastating disease, leading to hope that new drugs could be developed to treat dementia.…read more
  7. New research facility for neurodegenerative disorders opens in Cambridge

    “The research carried out in this new facility has the potential to affect millions of lives around the world for the better”
    A new facility dedicated to the use of chemical techniques to combat neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases has opened in Cambridge.  The new Chemistry of Health building houses the Centre for Misfolding Diseases, a world-leading research facility focused on the misfolding of proteins in human cells - a phenomenon that causes a number of disorders including…read more
  8. Dean becomes first priest to judge prestigious poetry award

    The £5000 prize, funded by the Poet Laureate, recognises ‘excellence in poetry’
    Canon Mark Oakley has been selected by the Poet Laureate to be one of the three judges of the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry 2018.   He is thought to be the first priest to judge the prize in its near ten-year history.     Canon Oakley is the former Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral and joined St John’s earlier this month as the new College Dean. He is also the author of The…read more
  9. True crime series written by Johnian scoops seven awards at the Emmys

    “The Assassination of Gianni Versace is about homophobia, internalized and externalized"
    A drama about the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace was one of the big winners of last night’s Emmy awards - and it was created by a graduate of St John’s. True Crime mini-series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story picked up three awards at the 70th Emmy Awards, including one for the show’s writer and Executive Producer, Tom Rob Smith. The Assassination of Gianni…read more
  10. Historic Old Library open to all this weekend

    'The History of the Book' will showcase some of the library’s oldest items
    Visitors to St John’s will get a rare opportunity this weekend to see inside the College’s 17th century library and view some of its most valuable items. The Old Library, which houses more than 30,000 books, will host a free exhibition as part of Open Cambridge this Friday and Saturday. The History of the Book will showcase some of the library’s oldest items. A medieval psalter manuscript dating…read more
  11. St John's hosts international event marking 150th anniversary of Rossini's death

    The concert and conference are part of a number of celebrations of Rossini's work this year
    A concert and an international conference marking 150 years since the death of the world-famous composer Rossini will be held at the Old Divinity School, St John's College. Gioachino Rossini Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868) achieved international fame in his lifetime with operas such as The Barber of Seville and William Tell. Since the 1950s there has been a ‘Rossini Renaissance’, during which…read more
  12. Scientists pioneer a new way to turn sunlight into fuel

    "This could be a great platform for developing solar technologies"
    The quest to find new ways to harness solar power has taken a step forward after researchers successfully split water into hydrogen and oxygen by altering the photosynthetic machinery in plants. Photosynthesis is the process plants use to convert sunlight into energy. Oxygen is produced as by-product of photosynthesis when the water absorbed by plants is ‘split’. It is one of the most important…read more
  13. St John’s graduate to feature in exhibition celebrating black alumni

    "This exhibition shows the indelible mark that black alumni of the University of Cambridge have left here"
    A portrait of Justina Kehinde Ogunseitan, an alumna of St John’s, will be one of 14 photographs on display in the University Library’s upcoming exhibition 'Black Cantabs: History Makers'. The exhibition will draw together archive images of groundbreaking black Cambridge students and academics from the previous century alongside new portraits of prominent graduates taken by the photographer…read more
  14. Professor Eske Willerslev awarded Semper Ardens grant of £2.3m for research into ancient rice genes

    "This project could potentially help fight hunger and increase food security all over the world"
    The Carlsberg Foundation has awarded DKK 19m (£2.3m) to Professor Eske Willerslev, a Fellow at St John's College, for the Semper Ardens project ‘Uncovering the genetics of rice resilience to environmental stressors: An ancient genomics approach.’   The project, which will be carried out in cooperation with the Carlsberg Research Laboratory, will map the genome of extinct rice strains with the…read more
  15. Andrew Chamblin Memorial Lecture

    Observing Black Holes in Quantum Mechanics
    The twelfth Andrew Chamblin Memorial Lecture, entitled Observing Black Holes in Quantum Mechanics, will be given by Professor Gerard 't Hooft, Nobel Laureate, at 5pm on Tuesday 23 October at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Wilberforce Road, Cambridge. Admission is free, but booking is required via the website:  read more
  16. Johnian brews UK’s first Trappist beer

    “We sustained the hardship of tasting a number of different beers, to find a style we liked!”
    The first Trappist ale from the UK has been brewed by monks in a Leicestershire abbey – and the abbot is a Johnian. Tynt Meadow ale – named after the meadow where Mount Saint Bernard Abbey was founded in 1835 – is the first English Trappist ale in the world. The Abbey, located near Coalville, Leicestershire, is England’s only monastery of Cistercian (Trappist) monks, and it is now officially…read more
  17. Size matters: if you are a bubble of volcanic gas

    "At first, we couldn’t understand how the gases could emerge much colder than the molten lava sloshing in the lake."
    The chemical composition of gases emitted from volcanoes – which are used to monitor changes in volcanic activity – can change depending on the size of gas bubbles rising to the surface, and relate to the way in which they erupt. The results, published in the journal Nature Geoscience and co-authored by Professor Andy Woods, Fellow at St John's, could be used to improve the forecasting of threats…read more
  18. Household phenomenon observed by Leonardo da Vinci finally explained by Cambridge researchers

    “Understanding this process has big implications and could reduce our water use dramatically."
    An everyday occurrence spotted when we turn on the tap to brush our teeth has baffled engineers for centuries – why does the water splay when it hits the sink before it heads down the plughole? Famous inventor and painter Leonardo da Vinci documented the phenomenon, now known as a hydraulic jump, back in the 1500s. Hydraulic jumps are harmless in our household sinks but they can cause violent…read more
  19. St John’s professor named winner of international prize to honour young member of the statistical community

    "He has made mentoring next generation of mathematicians a key feature of his academic life."
    Professor Richard Samworth has been awarded The Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies Presidents’ Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to statistics. The Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) sponsors and presents the annual COPSS Presidents' Award to someone under the age of 41. It is awarded by the five sponsoring statistical societies which…read more
  20. Mystery shoppers from Visit England give 4* Campus rating to St John’s

    “It is important to have a set standard so guests know they will have an enjoyable and comfortable stay at St John’s."
    Bed and breakfast accommodation at St John’s has received the highest possible accolade from Visit England for campus locations without on-site guest parking – for the third year. The Visit England 4*Campus status is awarded to educational institutions that demonstrate high standards in their B&B guest accommodation. Visit England was particularly impressed with the cleanliness of St John’s…read more
  21. ‘Unforgettable week’ for St John’s rowers as they compete in China

    "We were delighted to promote and celebrate the sport which is so closely linked to life at Cambridge."
    Members of the men’s side of Lady Margaret Boat Club represented St John’s in China this summer by racing in the Xi'an International Universities Rowing Regatta. The annual event is a chance for racing and cultural exchange, and included some of the world’s top university teams from Cambridge, Oxford, Melbourne and a number of Chinese universities. When the crew wasn’t training in the…read more
  22. Lifetime achievements of John’s academic recognised with prestigious international award

    Lifetime achievements of John’s academic recognised with prestigious international award.
    Historian Professor Ulinka Rublack has been awarded the Reimar Lüst Prize in recognition of her 20 year commitment to academic exchange between the UK and Germany. The prize is given by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to exceptional humanities scholars and social scientists who contribute to ‘the enduring promotion of bilateral relations between Germany and their own country’.…read more
  23. ‘The Crown’ exhibition showcasing royal documents opens in College Archive Centre

    Royal documents dating from Richard the Lionheart to Queen Victoria are on display at St John's.
    Great Seals of more than 20 monarchs, royal charters, and signatures from Oliver Cromwell and Elizabeth I are on display together at St John’s College for the first time in a free new exhibition focusing on the Crown. Confirmation to John de Ospringe of a grant, Richard I while on crusade at Acre and witnessed at Joppa, 1192 The Crown: Royal documents at St John’s College from Richard the…read more
  24. Emmy nomination for former St John’s student

    "The tragic events dramatized by this show were a part of history that had been largely overlooked"
    St John’s writer Tom Rob Smith has been nominated for an Emmy for the smash hit TV mini-series The Murder of Gianni Versace. The programme received a staggering 18 Emmy nominations in total including an Outstanding Writing one for Smith and one for Penelope Cruz for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her role playing Donatella Versace. The series was described in the Guardian as “an…read more
  25. Breakthrough made in understanding drug resistance to Breast Cancer treatment

    New protein discovery could change the way some cancers are treated
    Breast cancer patients who have a hereditary form of the condition could have a protein that stops their bodies responding effectively to treatment, according to new research.  Up to 10 per cent of hereditary cases of breast cancer are due to the patient inheriting a faulty cancer-causing gene, such as mutated variations of the BRCA1 gene. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and…read more