The Master of Trinity

The Master of Trinity is responsible for superintending the running of the College, and chairs the meetings of the College Council and Governing Body. The executive powers of the office, however, are limited.

He or she must hold a degree from Cambridge, and has in the past usually been a member of Trinity College. The Master holds office until the age of seventy, although there is provision in the Statutes for him or her to be continued by the Fellowship until the age of seventy-five. The Master resides in the Master's Lodge. In modern times the Master has customarily been of the highest academic distinction.

The Master of Trinity, Sir Gregory Winter, is a genetic engineer and is best known for his research and inventions relating to humanised and human therapeutic antibodies. Sir Gregory is a graduate of Trinity College and was a Fellow.

His research career was based almost entirely in Cambridge at the Medical Research Council's Laboratory of Molecular Biology and the Centre for Protein Engineering, and during this time he also founded three Cambridge biotech companies based on his inventions: Cambridge Antibody Technology (acquired by AstraZeneca), Domantis (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline) and Bicycle Therapeutics.

Sir Gregory is a non-executive Director of Bicycle Therapeutics, and a Trustee of the Newton Trust, the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, the Cambridge Overseas Trust and the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research.

The Master of Trinity may be contacted through the Master's Secretary.

Until he retired at end of June, 2012, the Master of Trinity was Professor Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, O.M., F.R.S., who was installed on 15 January 2004. Professor Rees was appointed to the House of Lords as a non-party-political peer, sitting on the Cross Benches in 2005, in which year he also became President of the Royal Society, a post he held until 2010. He is also Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics in the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge. Among many other academic distinctions he holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal. Lord Rees is also a noted writer on scientific topics. He is a graduate of Trinity and was previously an Honorary Fellow of the College. Lord Rees remains a Fellow of the College.

Between 1998 and January 2004 the Master of Trinity was Professor Amartya Sen, C.H., F.B.A. Professor Sen remains as a Fellow of Trinity, but he currently also holds an appointment at Harvard University. Further information about Professor Sen may be obtained from his autobiography, written for the Nobel Foundation. Sir Michael Atiyah, O.M., F.R.S. (Master 1990—1997) also remains on the Fellowship.

Previous Masters of Trinity College

  • John Redman (1546–1551)
  • William Bill (1551–1553)
  • John Christopherson (1553–1558)
  • William Bill (1558–1561)
  • Robert Beaumont (1561–1567)
  • John Whitgift (1567–1577)
  • John Still (1577–1593)
  • Thomas Nevile (1593–1615)
  • John Richardson (1615–1625)
  • Leonard Mawe (1625–1629)
  • Samuel Brooke (1629–1631)
  • Thomas Comber (1631–1645)
  • Thomas Hill (1645–1653)
  • John Arrowsmith (1653–1659)
  • John Wilkins (1659–1660)
  • Henry Ferne (1660–1662)
  • John Pearson (1662–1672)
  • Isaac Barrow (1672–1677)
  • John North (1677–1683)
  • John Montagu (1683–1699)
  • Richard Bentley (1700–1742)
  • Robert Smith (1742–1768)
  • John Hinchliffe (1768–1789)
  • Thomas Postlethwaite (1789–1798)
  • William Lort Mansel (1798–1820)
  • Christopher Wordsworth (1820–1841)
  • William Whewell (1841–1866)
  • William Hepworth Thompson (1866–1886)
  • Henry Montagu Butler (1886–1918)
  • Joseph John Thomson (1918–1940)
  • George Macaulay Trevelyan (1940–1951)
  • Edgar Adrian (1951–1965)
  • Richard Austen Butler (1965–1978)
  • Alan Hodgkin (1978–1984)
  • Andrew Huxley (1984–1990)
  • Michael Atiyah (1990–1997)
  • Amartya Sen (1998–2004)
  • Martin Rees (2004–2012)