The New Year Honours 2024 Lists have been published, marking the achievements and service of extraordinary people across the UK, including members of the University of Oxford.
Professor Molly Stevens FRS FREng, John Black Professor of Bionanoscience at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, has been appointed Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to Medicine. She is also the Deputy Director of the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery.
Professor Stevens obtained her PhD at the University of Nottingham, did her postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and led a highly interdisciplinary research programme at Imperial College London from 2004-2023 where she still holds a part-time position. She has won 40 awards, including the Novo Nordisk Award in 2023, the MRS Mid-Career Researcher Award in 2022, and the American Chemical Society Award in Colloid Chemistry in 2020.
Professor Stevens is a Fellow of eight Professional Bodies, including The Royal Society (FRS) and Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), and is also a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Engineering and an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Professor Stevens said: ‘I would like to thank my incredible team of researchers and staff who inspire me every day towards the mission of transforming healthcare through biomaterials technologies. All the advances that we have made into the design of new biosensing, therapeutics and regenerative medicine technologies are the result of strong teamwork both inside the lab and through to our external collaborators and key industrial partners. A key focus has been, and will continue to be, designing effective yet accessible technologies that can help in democratising access to healthcare.’
Professor Neil Mortensen MB ChB, MA, MD, FRCS Eng, FDS hon, FRCPS Glas hon, FRCS Edin hon, FRCSI hon, FACS hon, Professor of Colorectal Surgery at the University of Oxford Medical School, has been appointed a Knight Bachelor for services to Surgery. He is also Fellow of Green Templeton College and immediate Past President of the Royal College of Surgeons. He is Past Chair of the British Journal of Surgery Society, previously Editor in Chief of the Journal Colorectal Disease, President of the Ileostomy Association, and has been Past President of the Association of Coloproctology GBI and the Coloproctology Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. He chairs the Lee Placito Research Board for the Medical Sciences Division in the University.
Many congratulations to my Oxford colleagues who are recognised in the New Year Honours list 2024. Their outstanding achievements and service of people across the UK and the world continue to be a source of pride and inspiration for us all.
Professor Irene Tracey CBE FRS FMedSci
Vice Chancellor, University of Oxford
Professor Roger James Goodman, Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies and Warden of St. Antony's College, has been appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to Social Science.
Professor Goodman was the Head of the Social Sciences Division at the University of Oxford for 10 years from 2008 and Chair of the Council and President of the Academy of Social Sciences for six years between 2015-2021. His research has been focused on Japanese education, anthropology and social policy as well as comparative work on South Korea and the UK.
Professor Goodman said: ‘In the past few years, the importance of high-quality social science research has come to be recognised in the UK as never before; I am delighted therefore that this award acknowledges the collective contribution of the community of social scientists in improving our understanding of the complex world we live in.’
Professor Elizabeth Jane Robertson FRS FMedSci MAE, Professor of Developmental Biology and Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, has been appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to Medical Sciences. Her research exploits genetic strategies to identify the key pathways that control the growth and development of the mammalian embryo.
She received her PhD from Cambridge and led research groups at Columbia University and Harvard University before joining Oxford in 2004. Professor Robertson’s achievements have been recognised by a host of prizes and awards including the Rockefeller Pearl Meister Greengard Prize (2007), the US Society for Developmental Biology Conklin Medal (2008) the British Society for Developmental Biology Waddington Medal (2009) and the Royal Society “Royal Medal” (2016). She received a ScD from the University of Cambridge in 2020, where she is an Honorary Fellow of Darwin College. Most recently, Robertson was elected an International Member of the US National Academy of Sciences (2021).
Professor Robertson said: ‘I am delighted to have been given this award which recognises the importance of basic research in the field of stem cell and developmental biology. This honour reflects the collective efforts of the current and past members of my research team as well as numerous friends and colleagues with whom I have had the pleasure of working over the course of my career.’
Professor David Rodney (Roger) Heath-Brown FRS, Emeritus Fellow of Maths at the Mathematical Institute, has been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Mathematics and Mathematical Research. His work lies in analytic number theory and Diophantine analysis. In particular, he works on prime numbers, exponential sums, the determinant method, and the circle method.
Professor Heath-Brown said: ‘Naturally I am thrilled to receive this honour. It is a reflection of the ever growing importance of mathematics in modern life. Indeed, I have been delighted to see the corresponding growth in the subject at Oxford over the past 40 years, and also within Number Theory - my own research area. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the friendship and support of my colleagues both at Oxford and across the globe. They have made my work a pleasure.’
Professor Julia Mary Yeomans FRS, Professor of Physics, has been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Physics. Her research addresses a variety of problems in soft matter and biological physics using theoretical and computational tools from statistical mechanics and hydrodynamics.
Professor Yeomans said: ‘The recognition of an OBE is a wonderful surprise. I am grateful to the many students, post-docs and colleagues from all over the world who contribute so much to my enjoyment of research and teaching.’
Professor Daniela Bortoletto, Head of Particle Physics, has been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Particle Physics and to Gender Equality.
Professor Bortoletto is an experimental particle physicist working in the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva Switzerland. She was a member of the team that discovered the Higgs boson in 2012.
Professor Bortoletto said: ‘I am profoundly humbled and honoured to receive this recognition. I am committed to furthering both scientific progress in particle physics and the cause of equality in the physical sciences.’
Alexandra Vincent, Head of Divisional Registrar and Chief Operating Officer of the Humanities Division, has been appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Research Funding.
Vincent leads the development and implementation of administrative and policy frameworks to underpin strategic academic objectives. The Divisional Registrar leads the Divisional Office, has oversight of the administration of the Division’s faculties and other units, and works closely with senior officers across the University and the colleges.
Vincent said: ‘To have received this honour is such a wonderful recognition and I admit to being a little overwhelmed! Across my career I have had the joy of working with some amazing people and this recognition is really a tribute to those fantastic teams and individuals. Having worked in many different aspects of research funding and policy, I am particularly pleased that this highlights the importance of research funding in the arts and humanities and the contribution they make to all of our lives. With my new team, at the University of Oxford, as we look forward to the opening of the new Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities, I am looking forward to continuing to demonstrate how important the arts and humanities are in navigating our way through the big challenges like AI, climate change, as well as social justice and human rights, that make this increasingly complex world.’
Professor Matthew Snape MBBS FRCPCH MD has been appointed Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Public Health, particularly during COVID-19 while working at the Oxford Vaccine Group (OVG). He was Professor of Paediatrics and Vaccinology at the OVG until moving to Moderna in August 2022. His principal areas of research relate to vaccines against meningococcal, pneumococcal, influenza, RSV and Ebola virus disease.
Professor Snape said: ‘This is a such a wonderful honour, and I am delighted to receive this recognition. It is especially rewarding that this emphasises the importance of Public Health given the vital role that immunisation has in maintaining the health of the population. This work was only possible due to the wonderful team at the Oxford Vaccine Group, and my gratitude to my colleagues and friends there is profound and heartfelt.’
Dorothy Margaret Whittington, Volunteer at Oxford University Newcomers, has been appointed Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) For services to Volunteering and Higher Education.