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Johnian magazine issue 47, spring 2021

Alumni relations note

Written by Susannah Rose

1 min read

Even under the restraints of lockdown, the academic work of the College progresses. Recent research published by Fellows ranges from identifying the function of the ‘mystery protein’ that kills brain cells of people with Parkinson’s to a significant breakthrough in the analysis of the ancient Minoan script Linear A.

Students have also adapted to the unprecedented circumstances. Jonathan Gilmour (2005) has been working on the final stage of his PhD in inter-faith studies while living with Duchenne Muscular Dustrophy and shielding at home, and student Medics have been working on the frontline of the pandemic in placements across the NHS.

In this spring 2021 digital magazine, my colleague Hannah has curated Johnian stories of resilience and resourcefulness, fevered action and quiet reflection.

On the anniversary of the start of the UK lockdown, the College observed a minute’s silence to remember those who have lost their lives in the pandemic across the globe. However you have been affected by the events of the last year, we hope that brighter times are ahead.


We are continuing to offer a range of online events for alumni, including regional networking, talks from Fellows and Johnian Society pub evenings and interviews. Heather Hancock also enjoyed seeing so many of you in her virtual introduction last November. As restrictions ease, we are looking forward to adding in-person events back into the programme.

Let’s Talk Academia

The first session of the series of online conversations titled ‘Let’s Talk Academia’ was hosted back in April 2020. Since then, nine St John’s Fellows have delivered well-attended and engaging talks for Johnians.

In 2021 so far we’ve heard from Dr Orietta Da Rold about paper in Medieval England, Professor Usha Goswami CBE about reading development and dyslexia, and Professor Tuomas Knowles about misbehaving proteins and their role in dementia.

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Susannah is the Head of Alumni Relations at St John’s. She oversees alumni events and communications, including the online alumni community on Johnian Hub, and encourages Johnians to stay in touch with each other and the College.