Christ's College Alumni

E-newsletter Spring 2021

Hellebores in the garden

Welcome to the spring issue of the e-newsletter


Fun and Games Keep Spirits High

The Senior Tutor has continued in his efforts to keep spirits high and to engage and connect students, no matter where they are right now, by offering small prizes to any groups of students running virtual clubs and competitions. Many have taken him up on the challenge, from a group of housemates who have been knitting and crafting, to the Darwin Society which has held a virtual science quiz alongside Churchill, Clare, and Corpus Christi Colleges. The Boat Club has even been running a Virtual Lent Bumps whereby teams of 9 ‘crew’ members gain points for attending Zoom training sessions, going for a run, or completing other forms of exercise. Points accumulated throughout the term have resulted in a range of prizes gifted from the Senior Tutor and the Boat Club themselves. It’s been heartening to see the creativity with which students have kept in touch with each other and have been able to have some fun along the way.

Darwin Soc quiz Knitted hats

Above right: Jansen Tan and housemates wearing their wooly creations.


Covid Heroes Series

Following the article in the Lent term edition of Pieces, we were delighted to learn of other alumni who are involved in COVID-related work.

Dr Maheshi Ramasamy (m. 1995) has been an integral part of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine trials. Working as a Principal Investigator at the Oxford Vaccine Group she has been responsible for the monitoring of volunteers in the vaccine trial. Speaking in The Times, recently, Dr Ramasamy said of the moment the vaccine was approved for use “That was incredible for me, at the beginning of the year we had this disease. Then at the end of the year, we had the vaccine approved and in people’s arms.” We look forward to hearing more on this important subject.

Dr Lucy Jessop (m. 1995) is the Director of Public Health for the National Immunisation Office in Ireland, and is currently leading on several parts of the COVID-19 vaccine roll out for Ireland, including the vaccine distribution and clinical advice to the programme - a hugely challenging immunisation programme with many moving parts.

Dr Andrew Soltan (m. 2012) is leading on research into the use of AI to rule out COVID-19 in patients presenting to A&E, within just one hour. The AI test correctly predicted the COVID-19 status of 92.3% of patients coming to two Emergency departments during a two-week test period. You can read more about this area of research and the advances it affords the fight against COVID-19.

Do keep letting us know about your COVID-related work.


Christ's Welcome Two New Fellows

This term we have welcomed two new Fellows to Christ’s. For the first time in Christ’s history, they were admitted to their Fellowships via a Zoom ceremony.

Anna Protasio

Dr Anna Protasio is a Research Fellow in Parasitology, teaching primarily in the area of bioinformatics. As well as teaching courses in Ghana and soon in Thailand (via Zoom), Anna has also led the production of three online bacterial bioinformatics courses for Wellcome, which have enjoyed a massive audience worldwide. Anna first joined Christ's as a PhD student in 2007, and is the Year Group Representative for her year group.

Paul Fannon

Mr Paul Fannon is a Supervisor in Mathematics for the Natural Sciences, and has been a Bye Fellow at Christ's since 2016. He has twice won the CUSU Student-Led Teaching Award an Undergraduate Supervisor in Science and Technology, and last autumn he led the science strand of our new Bridging Course. Paul was an undergraduate at Christ's, matriculating in 1998.


Telephone Campaign 2021

Telephone Campaign Dates 2021

We’re excited to announce that the annual telephone campaign will be going ahead this year. After having to cancel last year, we are able to go ahead with a virtual campaign for 2021. Students will be working from home and speaking to alumni from 12 to 25 April. The student callers are currently being selected and will be ready and waiting to speak to as many alumni as possible during the Easter break.


Christ's Climate Series Seminar

Climate Seminar Series Zoom

The Christ’s Climate Seminar Series was, of course, held virtually this year. With an over-arching theme of Achieving change for population and planetary health post pandemic, it was held over a series of four seminars, with various panelists exploring a number of different areas. The seminars looked at topics including, framing the case for change, public participation, and place-based decision making. Among the various chairs and panelists were a number of Christ’s Fellows, including Professor DameTheresa Marteau and Professor Frank Kelly, as well as current students. You can find out more about the premise of the series and watch the seminars here.


New Years Honours

Congratulations to our alumni who have been recognised in the New Year Honours.

Mr Richard Wohanka (m. 1971), Chair and Trustee of the Nuclear Trust, and Director of the Nuclear Liabilities Fund, has been appointed CBE for services to the Nuclear Industry.

Mr Adam Baird-Fraser (m. 2003), Team Leader at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has been awarded an MBE for services to National Security.

Dr Ian Sare (m. 1972), Senior Science Adviser Aadi Defence Pty Ltd, was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020 for significant service to science and technology, to research, and to national security.


Christ's College Webinar Series 

Dr A Loktionov

Our speaker for the March Christ's College Webinar is Dr Alex Loktionov, Wallis Budge Fellow in Egyptology at Christ's, whose topic is "Apocalyse and rebirth: Ancient Egyptian pathways to a brighter future. 

As we ponder the ‘rebirth’ of our own society and economy after the Covid ‘apocalypse’, it is worth bearing in mind that the theme of apocalypse and rebirth has fascinated humans for millennia. In this talk, we will be exploring some of the earliest documented beliefs in this area, brought to us from Ancient Egypt.

Using a range of prophetic texts dating from the Egyptian Middle Kingdom (2055-1650BCE) all the way through to Roman Egypt (30BCE-641CE), we will reconstruct the basic tenets of Egyptian apocalyptic thought, with a particular emphasis on the perceived cyclical nature of time and the notion of the ‘saviour King’. In so doing, we will discover how the idea of apocalypse could be used by unhappy Egyptians to understand the world around them, and ultimately generate new hope for a brighter future. This talk is exclusively presented for Christ’s College prior to the upcoming publication of the latest research in this area, including Dr Loktionov’s contribution to the volume Eschatology in Antiquity (Routledge, 2021).

The webinar takes place on Thursday 25 March at 6pm GMT. Booking is now open.

You can also watch any of our past webinars here: Christ's Webinar Series


Outreach and Access

Christ’s is committed to admitting students of the highest intellectual potential, irrespective of social, religious, or financial considerations, and to encouraging applicants from under-represented backgrounds. We are also committed to providing resources and information to schools that do not have a history of sending students to Cambridge and would like to do so in the future. To achieve these aims, we are engaged in a number of different access and outreach initiatives. You can find out more about the work of the Access and Outreach team in Outreach News, and discover our current initiatives for schools and students on the College website: Outreach, Access and Schools Liaison

Alumni News

Ms Fiona Harvey (m. 1990) has been nominated for Environment Journalist of the Year and Mr Sathnam Sanghera (m. 1995) has been nominated for Feature Writer of the Year, Broadsheet, in the Society of Editors Press Awards 2021. We wish them both the best of luck for the virtual awards ceremony on 31 March.

Congratulations to Mr Sacha Baron Cohen (m. 1990), on winning two Golden Globes. Sacha won Best Actor in a comedy or musical for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and the film also won Best Picture (comedy or musical).



If you want to connect with other alumni in your field and with current Christ's students, then join our Christ's College Connections LinkedIn group. You can use the platform as an opportunity to share ideas, connect with others, and provide careers advice to current students and recent graduates. 



Following the success of our online lectures, we are continuing with a further schedule of events. We are closely following the UK Government's announcements and advice on easing out of lockdown and will update alumni on future in-person events when we have more clarity. 

25 March 2021: Dr Alexandre Loktionov Zoom lecture

27 March and 10 April 2021: Christ's College Medical Alumni Association Webinars



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