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May Newsletter 2021

Many congratulations to Trinity Fellow Professor Sir Shankar Balasubramanian (e1994) and Christ’s Fellow Professor Sir David Klenerman who have been awarded the prestigious 2020 Millennium Technology Prize for ‘their innovation of Next Generation DNA Sequencing (NGS), technology that enables fast, accurate, low-cost and large-scale genome sequencing.’ Read.

Trinity has launched a new Outreach Hub to provide prospective students, parents and teachers with a one-stop shop to find out all about life at the College and Cambridge. Students now have an invaluable opportunity to chat with current undergraduates via the innovative Unibuddy platform, where they can ask any burning questions and gain a realistic picture of the application process and student life. Read.

Final year engineering student Areeg Emarah (2017) is the recipient of the  Vice-Chancellor’s 2021 Social Impact Award, for her extensive access and student support work, and for her contribution and commitment to the May Week Alternative movement, which encourages students to develop a positive approach towards giving. Read.


As we reach the end of another academic and financial year – and one that has been so challenging for so many – we are incredibly grateful to all of our alumni and friends who have supported the College over the last twelve months. Whether you have logged on to attend one of our virtual events, volunteered to take part in the launch of our ‘Alumni Interviews’ series, or supported the College philanthropically through our telethon or one of our appeals, we want to say thank you for your continued commitment to Trinity.

Of course, the year is not quite over yet and there is still time for you to get involved should you wish, either by making a gift, by putting yourself forward to support our alumni associations and programmes, or by registering for one of our upcoming events. We look forward to hopefully bringing back in-person events as soon as we can, and to seeing you all back at Trinity.


We are saddened to have to share the news with you of the passing of Trinity Fellow in Chemical Engineering Dr Ronald Nedderman (e1981), 1935-2021. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and former students. Read.


Meet mathematician Dr Rita Teixeira da Costa who studies partial differential equations, with a special focus on Einstein’s equations in the theory of General Relativity, and will be joining Trinity in October 2021. Read.

Dr Henry Lee-Six, who will also be joining the College in October this year, tells us about his research into cancer and working on the NHS frontline during the pandemic. Read.

Junior Research Fellow in Linguistics Dr Oliver Mayeux’s (e2020) research on Louisiana Creole has contributed to a new Google app helping to revitalize endangered indigenous languages around the world. You can read about his research and fascination for languages in an interview on the website. Read.


The eagle-eyed among you will notice the new look and feel of the College website. We hope that it will enable greater ease and flexibility in how you are able to access College information. Please do bear with us for a couple of weeks while we are still making the finishing touches.

Congratulations to Professor Sadaf Farooqi (1997), Professor of Metabolism and Medicine, Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge, who has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. Read.

Issue 30 of The Fountain will be out next month, overflowing with the latest news from the College and features on Trinity’s Fellows, students, staff and alumni, including Professor Simon Baron-Cohen (e1995) exploring if there is a link between autism and the capacity for invention, and a glimpse of what’s been going on in the gardens from Head Gardener Tom Hooijenga. If you do not currently receive the magazine but wish to do so, either by post or online, please get in touch with your contact details and let us know if we should send your copy via  email or post. Email us.


If you have been hankering after a Trinity cheese straw, why not watch this short YouTube film with Pastry Chef Sarah Hopkin of the catering team, who reveals the secrets behind making the treat that generations of Trinitarians have been raised on? The film was produced as part of ‘Trinity Wow!’ – a series of short videos celebrating some of the wonderful skills and activities across the College staff community that we will be bringing to you over the coming months.

If you’re inspired to whip up a batch of straws, do send us a photo via email (if you can resist scoffing before you snap!) – we’d love to see what you’ve created, and we can share the results with your fellow alumni in the next newsletter.

Congratulations to novelist Victoria Dowd (e1990), the People’s Book Prize 2020/2021 Fiction winner for her debut novel The Smart Women’s Guide to Murder.


The next opportunity to join your fellow alumni online is coming up on Tuesday 8 June at 6pm. Composer and performer Owain Park (2013), who composed the Te Deum for The Master’s Installation in 2019, will be in conversation with Mike Waldron (2006), freelance conductor and Founder and Director of the London Choral Sinfonia. Don’t miss this evening of music and musings – further details are available on the website. Book.

Don’t worry if you weren’t able to join our two fantastic recent events – you can now catch up on the website:

  • A special behind-the-scenes tour of the Trinity Clock with Keeper of the Clock, Dr Hugh Hunt (e1990), on Thursday 6 May. Explore King Edward’s Gate and discover what makes the Trinity Clock tick. Watch.
  • Davey Jose (2001) in conversation with his brother, Bobby Seagull (Hughes Hall, 2014 and Emmanuel, 2015) on Tuesday 11 May. Davey will share how his childhood spinal injury shaped both his art and tech know-how. Watch.


  • Martha Leigh Invisible Ink: a family memoir, Troubador, January 2021. Martha is the daughter of Professor Ralph Alexander Leigh (1915-1987), who was a Fellow of Trinity College from 1952 and a world expert on Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The in-depth portrayal of her father and family was made possible by the large archive of personal writings and letters Professor Leigh left to Martha, including his six-year war correspondence with her mother, Edith, a concert pianist, who was a refugee from the Nazis. Read.
  • Alex Michaelides (1996)The Maidens – Orion Publishing, 10 June 2021.  Alex’s second novel is a thrilling tale of intrigue and obsession set in the fictional Cambridge College of St Christopher’s. He shares the inspiration behind his contemporary Greek tragedy in an interview with Publishers Weekly. Read.

If you have a recent or forthcoming book, blog or article, podcast or production, and you haven’t shared the details with us yet, please get in touch.


  • Online: In Conversation – Performer & composer Owain Park (2013) with conductor Michael Waldron (2006). Tuesday 8 June (6-7pm BST) REGISTER.
  • Online: Magdalene College event – The Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy: What Animals on Earth Reveal About Aliens and Ourselves, with Lord Martin Rees (1960),Dr Arik Kershenbaum and Professor Tim Clutton-Brock (both Magdalene).  Thursday 10 June, 6pm BST. REGISTER.
  • Newmarket: Trinity Golf Day at Newmarket & Royal Worlington Golf Club. Tuesday 24 June (all day). REGISTER.

We want to hear from you! Do keep us up-to-date with your latest achievements and activities for our Global Alumni News pages in The Fountain and the Alumni Achievements section in the Annual Record. Please send your news, appointments, and publications to: [email protected].

Please send your address updates to [email protected]. To unsubscribe from our monthly newsletter please contact [email protected] using the subject line: ‘Unsubscribe’. Please note: Your details are held in accordance with our Data Protection Policy. You may change your communication preferences at any time by writing to us at the email address below, and you can opt out of electronic communication with Trinity College by emailing [email protected], using the subject line ‘Unsubscribe’.

Header image: Wisteria hysteria time at Trinity © Joanna Cooney

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