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Research News

Researchers at the University of Oxford are at the forefront of global efforts to understand the Coronavirus and protect our communities. Leading academics at St Hilda's are contributing to this work. There are no proven treatments for COVID19; a number of nationally prioritised studies are underway to establish whether existing treatments repurposed for COVID19 are effective. Professor Duncan Richards, Climax Professor of Clinical Therapeutics, is leading a planning group within the Medical Sciences Division to coordinate efforts to assess novel approaches to the treatment of this complex disease. 

Professor Susan Jones, Professor of English and Tutorial Fellow at St Hilda’s College and DANSOX director, has been awarded a Knowledge Exchange Fellowship for 2020/2021 by TORCH, the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities. Professor Jones will collaborate with Yorke Dance Project on a research project, Dance as Grace: Paradoxes and Possibilities. This will bring together experts in the practice of dance and a number of academic disciplines including engineering, theology, literature, and art history.

Professor Julia Yeomans, Fellow in Physics, spent Hilary Term 2020 as Simons Visiting Professor at the Neils Bohr Institute, Copenhagen.

Professor Catherine Schenk, Economic and Social History Fellow, was awarded a grant from the University of Oxford Special Purposes Fund for activities supporting evidence based policy making to launch her project on international bank networks in Hilary Term in collaboration with Wilfried Kisling. As part of the project, Robert N. McCauley, formerly Senior Adviser at the Bank for International Settlements, will be visiting Oxford and Professor Schenk will also spend a week at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel Switzerland.

Professor Schenk has been appointed the Visiting Professor in Financial History at Goethe University Frankfurt for 2020, where she will be organising an international conference and meeting with graduate students and researchers in April and July.

The Bank of England has invited Professor Schenk to spend a week at the Bank meeting with their researchers and senior policy makers as part of their One Bank Visitor Programme for 2020.

Professor Dev Gangjee’s book, The Confusion Test in European Trade Mark Law (OUP, 2019), has won the IPKat prize for Best Book on Trade Mark Law. Professor Gangjee co-authored the book with Dr Ilanah Fhima.

Dr Rey Conquer, Stipendiary Lecturer in German, has published Reading Colour: George, Rilke, Kandinsky, Lasker-Schüler (Peter Lang, 2019).

Dr Velda Elliott, Supernumerary Fellow in Education, and Dr Jenni Ingram co-authored a book entitled ‘Research Methods for Classroom Discourse’ (Bloomsbury December 2019).

Dr Barbara Havelkovà, Law Fellow, co-edited and co-authored, with Mathias Möschel, a book entitled ‘Anti-Discrimination Law in Civil Law Jurisdictions’ (OUP December 2019)

Professor Fiona Macintosh, Classical Reception Fellow, has co-written a book with former MCR member, Justine McConnell, entitled ‘Performing Epic or Telling Tales' (forthcoming OUP February 2020).

On 1 October 2019, the University of Oxford and the University of British Columbia (UBC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, committing to work together to develop a new generation of clinical research leaders who will transform the translation of novel therapies from laboratory to clinic. As part of this initiative, UBC has created the Sultan Karim Fellowships in Clinical Pharmacology, which will support up to four clinicians seeking further research training and education in Clinical Pharmacology. This follows the establishment in 2017 of the Climax Chair of Clinical Therapeutics and Fellowships at St Hilda’s College. Find out more about the Memorandum of Understanding here.

Professor Julia Yeomans FRS, Fellow and Tutor in Physics and Vice-Principal of St Hilda's, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science by Northumbria University, Newcastle. Professor Yeomans is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and currently a member of their Council. She has received numerous accolades including the EPJE Pierre Gilles De Gennes Lecture Prize in 2013. Her service in the field of physics has been extensive from chairing Royal Society committees to major international research funding panels.

Professor Alison Noble OBE FREng FRS, was awarded the Royal Society Gabor Medal for developing solutions to a number of key problems in biomedical image analysis and substantially advancing automatic extraction of clinically useful information from medical ultrasound scans.

Dr Jonathan Patterson, Career Development Fellow in French, published an essay in a collective volume commemorating the life and work of Professor Philip Ford: a prolific Renaissance French and neo-Latin scholar who died in 2013. 'Jean Brinon and His Cenacle: An Enduring Sodalitas?' in Ingrid de Smet and Paul White (eds), Sodalitas Litteratorum: le compagnonnage litteraire neo-latin et francais a la renaissance. Etude a la memoire de Philip Ford (geneva: Droz, 2019), pp85-100.

Professor Anne Edwards, Supernumerary Fellow in Education, published two books: 'Supporting Difficult Transitions: children, young people and their carers' Bloomsbury 2019 and 'Cultural-historical Approaches to Studying Learning and Development: social, institutional and personal perspectives' Springer 2019.

Knowing Other Minds co-edited by our Philosophy Fellows, Professor Anita Avramides and Dr Matthew Parrott, was published by Oxford University Press in August 2019. 

Dr Tingting Zhu, Associate Research Fellow in Engineering, has received a five-year Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship. Dr Zhu has also been awarded the J.A. Lodge Award 2019 by the Institute for Engineering and Technology.

Tastes of Honey: The Making of Shelagh Delaney and a Cultural Revolution by our Tutorial Fellow in History, Professor Selina Todd was published by Penguin on 29 August 2019. On 27 May 1958, A Taste of Honey opened in a small fringe theatre in London. Written by a nineteen-year-old bus driver’s daughter from Salford, the play would blow Britain open and expose a deeply polarised society. Professor Todd tells the story of how Delaney, a working-class teenager. stormed theatreland, and what happened next.

Vergil's Green Thoughts, by our Tutorial Fellow in Classics, Dr Rebecca Armstrong, was published by Oxford University Press in July 2019. The book provides an in-depth study of plants in Vergil's poetry, offering a far more thorough and nuanced account of Vergilian flora than previously available in English-language scholarship.

Professor Dan Zahavi, University of Copenhagen and Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at St Hilda's, is engaged in a major research project into collective identity. The full title of the research project is "Who are we? Self-identity, Social Cognition, and Collective Intentionality".  The project is, at its core, philosophical, but will include collaborations with researchers in disciplines such as developmental psychology, social psychology, sociology, and anthropology to develop a systematic description of the complex relations between the group and the individual and thus contribute to an understanding of some of the foundational issues within the humanities and social sciences. Professor Zahavi has been awarded a major European Research Advanced Grant of  €2.4 for the research and also a 5 year Semper Ardens Grant from the Danish Carlsberg Foundation of £1.7 million.

Dr Sebastian Alvarez, Associate Research Fellow in Economic History, publishes Mexican Banks and Foreign Finance: From Internationalization to Financial Crisis, 1973-1982 with Palgrave Macmillan (July, 2019).

Dr Eve Worth, Junior Research Fellow, co-edited a Special Issue of Cultural and Social History on the theme of ‘Rethinking Social Mobility in Modern Britain’ which  contains her article Women, Education and Social Mobility in Britain During the Long 1970s.

Dr David Howey, Tutorial Fellow in Engineering, has been invited to give talks on his research work on energy storage at the American Control Conference in July and at EPFL in Switzerland in September.

Dr Daniel Bulte, Tutorial Fellow in Engineering, has been awarded a 5-year grant, worth £1.3 million, from the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) for their Healthcare Technologies Investigator-led Research Projects. The title of the project is Determining cerebrovascular reactivity from the pupil flash response. Dr Bulte is the PI on the grant. The research is to develop novel non-invasive technologies to assess vascular health in the brain.

Professor Daniel Wakelin, Professorial Fellow in English at St Hilda's and Jeremy Griffiths Professor of Medieval English Palaeography, Faculty of English, gives the Annual Riddy Lecture at the University of York on 2 May 2019: In the next leyf: The edge of the material text.

Women in Britain: Voices and Perspectives from Twentieth Century History by our Emeritus Fellow, Janet Howarth, has been published by Bloomsbury. This anthology of original sources, accompanied by a state-of-the-art bibliography, illustrates patterns of continuity and change in women's experience and their place in national life. An introductory survey provides an accessible overview and analysis of controversial issues, such as the relationship between 'first', 'second' and 'third' wave feminism.

Dr Georgina Paul, Vice-Principal of St Hilda’s, and Fellow and Tutor in German, and Professor Ulrike Vedder of the Humboldt-Universität Berlin, have been awarded Euro 30,000 in the first round of Oxford-Berlin Partnership Funding to conduct a project on ‘Literature and Material Culture: Archive, Library, Museum’. The aim is to promote work with the archival and library holdings related to 20th-century German literature and culture in Oxford and Berlin and to engage students as well as colleagues from our partner institutions with the ‘materiality’ of literary culture.

Dr Ann Dowker, Lecturer in Psychology, is participating in a project, ‘Paths to Character: Promoting agency, trust and hope for incarcerated Barbadian adolescents through community engagement’. The project has been awarded $233,000 for two years by the Templeton Foundation.

Dr Dowker published two new books: Individual Differences in Arithmetic: Implications for Psychology, Neuroscience and Education, 2nd editionPsychology Press; and Mathematics Anxiety: What is Known and What it Still to be Understood in March 2019. Dr Dowker has co-edited the latter book with Irene Mammarella and Sara Caviola. Routledge.

Dr Gareth Evans, Lecturer in English, has published a book Men and Masculinities in the Saga of Icelanders with Oxford University Press.

Research by the Glitsch Group, headed by our Tutorial Fellow in Medicine, Dr Maike Glitsch, has identified an important protein that could detect the pathological changes leading to disease. Their paper, Coincidence Detection of Membrane Stretch and Extracellular pH by the Proton-Sensing Receptor OGR1 (GPR68) reveals how the activity of the OGR1 protein may be a crucial factor in the progression of certain diseases. Read the full paper, which was published in Current Biology, Volume 28, Issue 23, 3 December 2018, Pages 3815-3823.e4

As part of her undergraduate studies at St Hilda’s, Kirsty Gouck (Engineering, 2016), spent eight weeks in the summer of 2018 working for the Nasio Trust in Oldonyosambu Village, North Tanzania. Kirsty found this placement through the University of Oxford Careers Service. Read more about Kirsty's research in Tanzania in our Research Spotlight.

Our Senior Research Fellow in Law, Dr Mavis Maclean, co-edited with Dr Jacek Kurczewski (University of Warsaw, Poland), Sex Work in the Early 21st Century – Law, Policy and RealityVol 8, No 8 (2018) in The Oñati Socio-Legal Series. This international peer-reviewed on-line journal publishes work within the field of law and society. Dr Maclean also wrote the introduction to the issue, Sexwork in the UK: Stereotypes and Statistics in the 21st Century.  

Our Emeritus Fellow, Ann Buchanan, co-edited The Role of Grandparents in the 21st Century: Global Perspectives on Changing Roles and Consequences, which was published by Routledge in November 2018. The publication includes scholarly summaries of research as well as new research findings. It is an invaluable resource for other scholars and students investigating the role of grandparents today.

Epic Performances from the Middle Ages into the Twenty-First Century, edited by our Fellow in Classics, Professor Fiona MacintoshJustine McConnellStephen Harrison and Claire Kenward was published by Oxford University Press on 7 November 2018. The volume grew out of the Leverhulme-funded Performing Epic project at the APGRD in Classics and the DANSOX and St Hilda’s Research Committee funded project, ‘Choreographing the Katabasis: A danced translation of Homer's Odyssey’. DANSOX, founded by Professor Sue Jones, provides a major forum for dance scholarship in Europe, promoting dialogue between prominent academic disciplines and the worlds of dance theory and practice. 'Epic Performances from the Middle Ages into the Twenty-First Century' has many St Hilda's connections. The lead author, Professor Fiona Macintosh is Professor of Classical Reception, Director of the APGRD and a Fellow of St Hilda's; Justine McConnell, now Lecturer in Comparative Literature at King's College London, was previously a Member of the College's Senior Common Room during her time at Oxford as APGRD Leverhulme Fellow. There are also chapters by Dr Margaret Kean (Fellow and Tutor in English), Dr Georgina Paul (Vice Principal and Fellow and Tutor in German), Marchella Ward (APGRD Archivist/Researcher and Member of St Hilda's SCR); and chapters by DANSOX colleagues, Marie-Louise Crawley(Choreographer) and Tom Sapsford (USC/NYU Centre for Ballet and the Arts and co-organiser of the 'Choreographing the katabasis' project in 2015).

Professor Duncan Richards has been appointed as the new Climax Professor of Clinical Therapeutics at Oxford from February 2019. In this role, he will lead on essential work to address the global challenge of developing new therapies and delivering them faster. Hear more from Professor Richards in this video.

Dr David Howey, Fellow and Tutor in Engineering, is Principal Investigator on a project funded by the Faraday Institution (the UK’s new independent institute for electrochemical energy storage science and technology) that will assess the opportunity for UK-based electric vehicle and battery cell production between now and 2040. He is also leading a work package focused on parameter estimation of battery models within the separately funded £10m Faraday Institution project on multi-scale modelling of batteries.

Oxford Sparks visited Dr Howey to find out about his research into smart phone batteries, to establish why they drain so quickly. Listen to the podcast to find out more about it.

Dr Jonathan Patterson, Career Development Fellow in French, has published an article studying the fragmentary dissemination of ideas about intellectual disabilities and low social status in early modern French literature. Les fous, les idiots, et les gens de basse condition chez Guillaume Bouchet, lecteur de Huarte, Bibliothèque d'Humanisme et Renaissance, LXXX-2 (2018), 249-264

Dr Tingting Zhu, JRF in Engineering, together with researchers from Cambridge and Oxford Brookes have been awarded two Cancer Research UK collaborative projects of £100k each, via the CRUK-EPSRC-STFC programme on ‘early detection via sensor technologies’, these projects involve developing AI methods for improving early detection of cancer. Dr Zhu has also been awarded £30k as the principal researcher by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for a collaboration with the Nuffield Department of Surgery, in developing AI-based tools for predicting the growth of abdominal aortic aneuryms, an important challenge in the field of surgery.

Prisons, Punishment, and the Family: Towards a New Sociology of Punishment? edited by Dr Rachel Condry, Fellow of St Hilda's College and Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of Oxford, and Peter Scharff Smith, Professor in the Sociology of Law, Oslo University, is published by OUP on 19 October 2018.

Professor Selina Todd, Fellow and Tutor in History, was awarded £100,000 by the AHRC for her project ‘Women, Housing and Citizenship in Britain since 1945’ and a further £40,000 by the Fell Fund for the same project. Professor Todd has been invited by the European University Institute in Florence to serve on a keynote panel to celebrate the publication of ‘Divided Kingdom’, the latest book by Professor Pat Thane (FBA) Over the summer, Professor Todd delivered a keynote address on ‘what does a progressive economy look like?’ at John McDonnell’s annual State of the Economy conference.

Dr Ana Namburete, our Associate Research Fellow in Engineering, received the Best Paper Award of the 2018 International Workshop on Perinatal, Preterm and Paediatric Image Analysis, with Dr Bartek Papiez, Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College. The work entitled “Multi-channel Groupwise Registration to Construct an Ultrasound-Specific Fetal Brain Atlas”, was presented at the Workshop on Perinatal, Preterm and Paediatric Image analysis during 21st International Conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) in Granada, Spain. It describes a novel automated approach to construct a 3D atlas (or digital map) from fetal brain ultrasound images. Read the presented work here.

The Bank for International Settlements has announced the appointment of Professor Catherine Schenk, our Professorial Fellow in Social and Economic History, as the Alexandre Lamfalussy Senior Research Fellow for 2018-19.

Shaping the Geography of Empire: Man and Nature in Herodotus' Histories by our Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History, Dr Katherine Clarke, was published by Oxford University Press in June 2018.

The Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre (OIPRC) research team, led by our Tutorial Fellow in Law, Dr Dev Gangjee, produced a Study on Voluntary Registration and Deposit Systems: United States and China that has been published by The European Union Intellectual Property Office’s Observatory. The OIPRC research team also included Professor Graeme Dinwoodie, Ms Alexandra Mogyoros and Mr Baao Zhao. Further details and a link to the full report are available from the EUIPO news blurb.  

Andrew Hyslop (Engineering, 2014) was awarded the Rolls-Royce prize for Thermofluids during the University of Oxford Engineering Department's 44th Maurice Lubbock Memorial Lecture day. His supervisor for the project was Dr Matthew McGilvray, a Lecturer in Engineering at St Hilda's College. Andrew's project was entitled: Free flight of the Reaction Engine Skylon configuration.

Dr Rachel Condry, Fellow of St Hilda's College and Associate Professor, Centre for Criminology, was awarded a prize for ‘excellence in impact’ and the overall 'Impact Champion prize' by O2RB, a partnership of four universities (Oxford, Reading, Oxford Brookes, and the Open University), for forging awareness and developing policy responses from her research on adolescent to parent violence (APV).

Prior to Dr Condry's research, adolescent to parent violence was a much hidden form of family violence. There was an absence of systematic and reliable data about this type of abuse in the UK which meant the problem was not widely recognised. Dr Condry conducted the first large-scale study of APV in the UK, which provided some of the first systematic evidence of the problem. Findings of the study enabled agencies to justify and evidence the need for a coherent response to APV and have been instrumental in raising public awareness of the problem. With funding from an ESRC IAA Impact Award, Dr Condry worked with a multi-agency group including government departments, statutory bodies, third sector services, and other experts to develop the first official guidance for professionals, published by the Home Office. This guidance has been widely used by statutory and voluntary agencies across the UK, leading to local changes in practice, and it remains the only government guidance specifically on the problem of APV. Dr Condry intends to use the prize money to travel to Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia to further develop the international impact of her work. 

David Lawton (History 2014) has been awarded the Jane Willis Kirdaldy Prize for the best thesis on a scientific, technical, or medical subject for his undergraduate thesis, Constructing the 'Smackhead: the politics of heroin consumption in the moral landscape of Thatcher's Britain'.

Professor Anne Edwards, Supernumerary Fellow in Education, has been elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales - Wales's National Academy of Science and Letters.

Dr Anita Avramides, Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, has written a paper, Engaging with Buddhism, which will be published in June 2018, in Sophia: International Journal of Philosophy and Traditions. Dr Avramides will be a Visiting Professor at the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer School on Cross-Cultural Perspectives on the Self at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, USA, 20 May – 2 June 2018.

Dr Eve Worth, JRF in Women's History, has published an article using oral history interviews to analyse women's experience of the changes to working conditions in the public sector during the 1980s and 1990s, and their consequent downward mobility: A Tale of Female Liberation? The Long Shadow of De-Professionalization of the Lives of Post-War Women, Revue Francaise de Civilisation Britannique, 23/1 (2018).

Dr Tingting Zhu, JRF in Engineering, together with her colleagues from the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, have been recognised for their work at the IEEE Biomedical & Health Informatics Conference (BHI). BHI is one of the leading 'AI in Healthcare' conferences, with an acceptance rate for oral presentations of 15 per cent. Their paper, Identifying patient-specific trajectories in haemodialysis using Bayesian Heirarchical Gaussian Processes, received one of three 'best paper' awards at the conference. It also received a prize of $1,000, sponsered by Google Cloud. An extended version of their paper will appear in a Special Issue of the IEEE Journal of Biomedical Health and Informatics, one of the leading journals in their field.

Dr Maya Tudor, Supernumerary Fellow in Politics, has been awarded a Fellowship at the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University for the 2018 – 2019 academic year.

Professor J. Alison Noble, Professorial Fellow at St Hilda's and Technikos Professor of Biomedical Engineering, speaks on 'The Changing Perceptions of Medical Ultrasound', at the University of Oxford 2018 Alumni Weekend Alumni Weekend, 7–8 April 2018, in San Francisco. Professor Noble will discuss how interdisciplinary machine-learning research at the interfaces of computational science, biomedical engineering and clinical medicine is changing this perception. During this session, she will illustrate that regardless of training and frequency of use, anyone, anywhere, can perform ultrasound-based decision making.

Dr Jonathan Patterson, Career Development Fellow in French, had an article, ‘Obscenity and Censorship in the Reign of Henry III’, published in Renaissance Quarterly 70, no.4 (Winter 2017), 1321-1365. This is a manuscript study of the unusual self-censoring habits of an early modern Parisian diarist, Pierre de L’Estoile, who was both fascinated and horrified by literary obscenity. 

Dr Velda Elliott, Supernumerary Fellow in Education, was awarded the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) Research Award for 2017.  Dr Elliott has also recently been awarded the Cambridge Journal of Education Best Paper Prize for 2016 for her paper, with Jenni Ingram, entitled ‘A critical analysis of the role of wait time in classroom interactions and the effects on student and teacher interactional behaviours’. This paper is also in the top ten most downloaded papers ever for that journal.  

Dr Maike Glitsch, Fellow and Tutor in Medicine, and Dr Yvonne Couch secured research funding of £114,000 from the ISSF and the Rosetrees Trust for a joint project to look at a potential role for a pH-sensing protein in contributing to gender-differences in recovery from stroke in a mouse model.

Dr Linda Troeberg, Associate Research Fellow in Medicine, and Dr Stephen Wren, Associate Research Fellow in Chemistry, along with Dr Ngee Han Lim and Professor Tonia, have been awarded £217.5K by the Arthritis UK’s 'Stacking the Odds towards a Cure' challenge, for a project entitled ‘Suramin – a new hope for blocking osteoarthritic cartilage loss?’  

Dr Yvonne Couch, Junior Research Fellow in Medicine, has been awarded £9000 by the Rosetrees Trust to carry out work on extracellular vesicles in stroke.

Dr Eve Worth, Junior Research Fellow in History, has been jointly awarded a £10,000 grant from the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund for an interdivisional project entitled ‘Doing well? Social Mobility, Health and Well-being in Britain’. The project directly relates to the key topic of Dr Worth’s JRF Research at St Hilda’s into women’s social mobility.

Dr Helen Swift's recent book Representing the Dead: Epitaph Fictions in late-Medieval France was the subject of TORCH's 'Book at Lunchtime' panel discussion on 18 October 2017. Listen to the podcast here.

Dr Dev Gangjee, Tutorial Fellow in Law, is the Principal Investigator for an empirical research project that is studying the practical operation of voluntary copyright registration systems in the USA and China. The research group was commissioned by the European Union's Intellectual Property Office to conduct this research, for which it was awarded 40,000€.

Dr David Howey, Fellow in Engineering, has been awarded funding as a co-investigator on a new £1m EPSRC project called TRENDS (ref EP/R020973/1). The project is focused on developing groundbreaking research diagnostic tools for lithium-ion battteries. It is part of the UK government's new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which will invest almost £5b in RYD over the next four years in a number of areas, including batteries.

Dr Tingting Zhu, Junior Research Fellow, has been awarded an EPSRC NetworksPlus prize (£70k) as the principal researcher to create the next heneration of m-health applications in collaboration with clinicians in China (including overseeing a proof-of-principle study on 20,000 patients in one of China's leading cardiovascular hospitals), working with the George Institute for Global Health. The project, 'Automated Decision Support System for Patients at Risk of Myocardial Infarction', aims to provide accurate efficient, and cost-effective care to predict patients that are at risk of cardiovascular diseases thorugh a proof-of-principle machine learning system, based on deep learning.

Dr Jonathan Patterson, Career Development Fellow in French, has edited a special edition of the Taylor & Francis journal Early Modern French Studies, 'Variations of Vileness', publishing in November 2017. The seven studies presented will explore the significance of vile beings, bodies and objects ina  number fof 16th and 17th century works.

Professor Sue Jones, Fellow in English, has been awarded a prestigious Leverhulme Research Fellowship Award from October 2017 to October 2018 for a project on Samuel Beckett and Choreography.

Dr Lyndall Gordon, Senior Research Fellow, has a new group biography published by Virago on 26 October 2017: Outsiders: Five Women Writers Who Changed the World. The book tells the stories of five novelists – Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner, Virginia Woolf – and their famous novels.

Dr Helen Swift, Dr Jonathan Patterson, Dr David Howey and our Emeritus Fellow Dr Sarah Watkinson took part in Oxford's Curiosity Carnival on 29 September 2017. Part of European Researchers’ Night, the Curiosity Carnival offered a chance to find out what research is really all about, meet researchers, ask questions and discover how research affects and changes all our lives.

'Professor Bulte's Incredible Medical Machines' has just launched on YouTube. This new series of three bite-sized factual films by Oxford Digital Media and our Fellow and Tutor in Engineering Daniel Bulte, who is also an MRI physicist and an Associate Professor in Engineering Science (biomedical engineering), is essential viewing for anyone interested in the various machines in hospitals. You can watch them here

In research published in the journal Virus Evolution, our Tutorial Fellow in Zoology, Professor Aris Katzourakis, and Junior Research Fellow in Zoology, Dr Amr Aswad, have revealed that Next-Generation Sequencing and its associated online DNA databases could be used in the field of viral discovery.

Professor Alison Noble, Professorial Fellow in Engineering at St Hilda's College and Director of Oxford’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME), was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Society on 5 May 2017. Professor Noble's election to this prestigious learned society recognises her ground-breaking biomedical image analysis research. Professor Noble's work has advanced knowledge of how to automatically extract clinically-useful information from medical ultrasound scans. Professor Noble was awarded the inaugural Laura Bassi Award for Outstanding Female Researcher of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering in 2015. In 2016, the IBME received the Queen's Anniversary Prize for the University's pioneering work in biomedical engineering and Professor Noble was part of a group of members who, with the University's Chancellor, Lord Patten of Barnes, and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, attended the award ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Awarded every two years, the Queen's Anniversary Prizes recognise universities and colleges which have demonstrated excellence, innovation, impact and societal benefit.

Dr Helen Swift, Tutorial Fellow in Medieval French and Tutor for Graduates, took part in 'In Our Time' on Radio 4 on 9 June 2017. Dr Swift and other guests discussed with Melvin Bragg the life and works of Christine de Pizan, who wrote at the French Court in the late Middle Ages and was celebrated by Simone de Beauvoir as the first woman to 'take up her pen in defence of her sex.' Christine de Pizan wrote across a broad range, and was particularly noted for challenging the depiction of women by famous writers such as Jean de Meun, author of the Romance of the Rose. She has been characterised as an early feminist who argued that women could play a much more important role in society than the one they were allotted, reflected in arguably her most important work, The Book of the City of Ladies, a response to the seemingly endless denigration of women in popular texts of the time. Listen to the programme here. Dr Swift's book, 'Representing the Dead: Epitaph Fictions in Late-Medieval France', an examination of how the dead were memorialised in late medieval French literature, was published by Boydell & Brewer in October 2016.

Professor Julia Yeomans has been awarded £78K funding from BBSRC for a pre-competitive multi-disciplinary research project involving collaborations between academia and the food industry. The project, entitled ‘Developing multiscale models of digestion to enable targeted product solutions for nutrition and metabolic health’, aims to stimulate technological advances that can deliver healthy nutrition for consumers. The project is led by Professor Gary Frost at Imperial College London, with co-investigators Dr Maria Charalambides (Imperial), Professor Julia Yeomans (University of Oxford), Professor Serafim Bakalis (University of Birmingham), Dr Cathrina Edwards (Institute of Food Research), and Professor Alan Mackie (University of Leeds). The research is supported by BBSRC, MRC, EPSRC, and ESRC, with Nestlé, PepsiCo, Mondelez and pladis as industrial partners.

Professor Julia Yeomans had an article published in Nature entitled ‘Topological defects in epithelia govern cell death and extrusion. Read it here.

Dr Yvonne Couch, Junior Research Fellow in Medicine, is senior author of the paper Inflammatory Stroke Extracellular Vesicles Induce Macrophage Activation, which published in ‘Stroke’, the journal of the American Heart Association, in May 2017. Read the paper here.

Our Principal Professor Sir Gordon Duff was awarded the Sir James Black Award for Contributions to Drug Discovery by the British Pharmacological Society, to recognise his group's original discovery of Tumour Necrosis Factor alpha (TNFα) as a therapeutic target in human arthritis in December 2016. Inhibitors of TNFα have also been used in the treatment of other diseases including including severe inflammatory diseases of skin, GI tract and lungs. Drugs that target TNFα are among the most notable therapeutic developments in modern medicine and have improved the lives of millions of patients worldwide.

Professor Selina Todd, Tutorial Fellow in History, St Hilda's College; Professor in Modern British History, History Faculty, has been awarded a John Fell fund to support her work on a study of social mobility since the 19th century.  Professor Todd has also been awarded an Arts and Humanities Council Fellowship of £245,000 to study Shelagh Delaney and feminism. This award will enable Professor Todd to write a book on this topic to be published by Chatto and Windus, and to stage a trilogy of Shelagh Delaney's plays in collaboration with her project partners: the Guinness Housing Partnership and their tenants in Salford, MaD Theatre Company in Manchester, Charlotte Delaney (playwright), and the Working Class Movement Library in Salford. 

Dr Ana Namburete, an Associate Research Fellow, has been awarded a prestigious five-year Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowship. These fellowships support outstanding early career researchers to establish research groups. Dr Namburete's research focuses on creating computational algorithms to enhance the diagnostic value of sonographic images. Through her work, she aims to establish ultrasound as a cost-effective tool for early assessment of brain maturation during pregnancy. Dr Namburete has also secured funding through the UK government's Global Research Challenges scheme to form knowledge exchange links between Africa- and UK-based scientists.

Dr Ben Bradford, our former Associate Research Fellow in Criminology, published two titles: 'Stop and Search and Police Legitimacy' by Routledge, in the Routledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice series in 2016 and The SAGE Handbook of Global Policing, co-edited with B. Jauregui, I. Loader and J. Steinberg by SAGE, also in 2016.

Fomer Associate Professor and Lord Hoffmann Fellow in Law at St Hilda's College, Sarah Green, was awarded funding from the John Fell fund to finance a workshop in College on 19th May 2017 on "Illegality after Patel v Mirza". This will bring together leading academics and judges from across the common law world to discuss the wide-ranging implications of one of the most significant Supreme Court decisions of recent times. A book on the results of the discussion will be published in 2018 by Bloomsbury/Hart. Sarah Green has also been awarded, jointly with David Fox (Cambridge), Travers Smith Funding for an invited workshop in St Hilda’s on 7th July on ‘Private Law Aspects of Virtual Currencies’. The papers discussed will be edited by David Fox and Sarah Green and published in 2019.

Dr David Howey has been successful in two joint applications to the EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund focused on off-grid battery systems (totalling around £120k, one of them in collaboration with Physics), and an InnovateUK project to study re-use of lithium-ion batteries at end of life (£76k). Dr Howey also has a new St Hilda's graduate student, Trishna Raj, who is part-sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover. She will be studying accelerated ageing of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Our Tutorial Fellow in Zoology and Associate Professor of Evolutionary Genomics, Department of Zoology Dr Aris Katzourakis's work on on viral fossil hunting was discussed in an article in Quantum Magazine in March 2017.

Professor Julia Yeomans is part of a team of scientists that used a virtual prototype to demonstrate how the natural movement of bacteria could be harnessed to turn cylindrical rotors and provide a steady power source. The team has been exploring the potential of the natural movement of bacteria to serve as a power source. These microscopic 'natural engines' may one day be able to power micromachines such as smartphone components. Read more in Scientific Advances.

Professor Amanda Cooper-Sarkar was awarded the 2015 Chadwick Prize and Medal for her study of deep inelastic scattering of leptons on nuclei, which has revealed the internal structure of the proton. Professor Cooper-Sarkar plays a leading role in the ATLAS groups at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The ATLAS groups are making new measurements of the proton structure function, thereby ensuring that new generations are able to use the techniques that Dr Cooper-Sarker has devised to make improved measurements of the proton structure in future years.

Dr Robert Paton, former Fellow in Organic Chemistry, received an Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from the American Chemical Society and OpenEye Scientific Software, for 'Redefining the rules for ring closure through computations: quantifying substrate and catalyst control with quantum chemistry'. The ACS COMP OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award program provides $1,000 to up to four outstanding tenure-track junior faculty members to present their work in COMP symposia.The Awards are designed to assist new faculty members in gaining visibility within the COMP community. Dr Paton received the award at the American Chemical Society National Meeting held in Boston in 2015.

Take a look at our Academic Staff profiles for further information about their research interests.

Graduate student Giovanna di Martino (DPhil Classical Languages and Literature) organised the event 'Translation into Theatre and the Social Sciences', 16-17 June 2017. The conference is being supported by the University of Oxford, Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation, the British Comparative Literature Association, the Oxford Theatre and Performance network, the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, and St Hilda’s College. Day 1 of the Conference will take place at St Hilda's. Keynote speakers are Professor Carole-Anne Upton (Middlesex University London); Margherita Laera (University of Kent); Lorna Hardwick (The Open University); and Liliane Campos (Université Paris Sorbonne-Nouvelle).

Some of our graduate students have won prestigious awards, such as the Humane Studies Graduate Fellowship awarded by the Institute of Humane Studies to the 2015/16 President of the Middle Common Room, Kameron St Clare.

St Hilda’s students have also taken part in projects throughout the University, such as the Digital Manuscript Toolkit project at the Bodleian Library. Daniel Sawyer led one strand of this, provisionally investigating how we can use digital tools to investigate and present medieval roll manuscripts.

Our students regularly attend conferences, such as the CHAVI-ID conference in September 2015 at Duke University (North Carolina, USA), at which Thomas Partridge gave a talk on a method he is using to identify novel T cell targets on HIV-1-infected cells, which could potentially be of use in vaccine strategies. For this, he won a Pre-doctoral Award and a poster prize.