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Honours and awards for Trinity Fellows

Trinity Fellow Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald is awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Her research on Cytosponge-TFF2 – the sponge on a string – used for the early detection of oesophageal cancer is now in the implementation phase. Diagnostic tests on 9000 individuals with symptoms have already taken place.

Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald. Photo: CRUK Cambridge Centre

Professor Fitzgerald, working with Professor Peter Sasieni and a team from King’s College London, leads a new trial screening 120,000 individuals across the UK to investigate whether this technology can improve early diagnosis to the extent that it reduces mortality from this disease. The trial is funded by a new grant of £6.4 million from Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

Professor Fitzgerald will head the new Early Cancer Institute at the University of Cambridge to bring knowledge from Cytosponge to detect other cancer types earlier.

She said:

It is an exciting but long path from the seed of an idea through to implementation of a new diagnostic test in the NHS and receiving this award is an honour and a tremendous boost for me and the whole team who continue to strive to improve the early diagnosis of cancer.

Earlier this year, Dr Matthew Colbrook, Trinity College Junior Research Fellow in Mathematics, received the SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) Richard C Di Prima Prize 2022.

This prestigious prize is awarded once every two years to an early career researcher who has undertaken outstanding research in applied maths based on a doctoral dissertation.

The DiPrima Prize was awarded to Dr Colbrook ‘for the high quality and mathematical innovation of his Ph.D. dissertation’, ‘The Foundations of Infinite-Dimensional Spectral Computations’.

Dr Matthew Colbrook

Dr Colbrook said it was a great encouragement to receive the DiPrima Prize.

I am excited because this means that other mathematicians are interested in my research, and I hope that it inspires further researchers to pursue similar paths.

A vast number of problems in science and engineering are either intrinsically infinite-dimensional or involve an infinite amount of data. It is my hope that this work can also be of use to scientists in other areas such as optimisation, neural networks, PDEs, and computer-assisted proofs.

Meanwhile, Trinity Fellow Assistant Professor Christopher Rauh of the Faculty of Economics has secured funding from the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) for the development of a new model for forecasting conflict.

Assistant Professor Christopher Rauh

Professor Rauh is part of a team working with IAE Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) that has developed a ‘conflict model’ which investigated the signals that a region may be about to experience civil commotion or war.

The new funding will allow the methodology to look at the subnational level so that locations of violence within countries can be predicted. The award will also fund sharing the research with a broader audience.

In May Trinity Fellow Professor Jason Chin was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is Programme Leader at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC-LMB), where he also heads the Centre for Chemical & Synthetic Biology (CCSB). Professor Chin has pioneered methods to reprogrammed the genetic code of living organisms.

Professor Jason Chin. Photo: MRC Lab of Molecular Biology

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