Mark Miodownik

1988, Metallurgy

Scientist and Broadcaster

Mark Miodownik is an engineer and materials scientist, and is Professor of Materials and Society at University College London. As Director of the Institute of Making, he leads multidisciplinary research for 'those interested in the made world: from makers of molecules to makers of buildings, synthetic skin to spacecraft, soup to clothes, furniture to cities'.

A broadcaster and writer, he regularly gives talks on engineering and materials science to TV and radio audiences. He gave the 2010 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, and was recently named by The Times as one of the 100 most influential people in science.

Kerry Walker

BSc Memorial, MSc Dalhousie, DPhil Oxf


About me

I have been a Fellow of St. Catherine's since 2009, and I serve as Director of Studies for the Biomedical Sciences course at our college.  I am also an Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, where I investigate the neural basis of hearing.



I tutor Biomedical Science, Medicine and Psychology students at St Catherine's College in topics spanning Neuroscience, Cellular Physiology, Statistics and Critical Analysis.



My research involves decoding neurons' action potential responses to sounds, and using 2-photon microscopy to observe the spatial organization of these neural responses throughout the brain. Furthermore, we train animals on behavioural tasks to measure how they hear sounds, and how their perception compares to human hearing. The aim of this work is to understand how the auditory cortex represents the features of sound that listeners use to communicate and recognize objects in the world around them.


Research Supervision

I have supervised the dissertation projects of many undergraduate and graduate students in my lab, and welcome new opportunities for Catz students to take part in our research.

Research Associate

Vivienne Cox

1977, Chemistry

Energy expert and former BP Executive

Vivienne Cox (1977, Chemistry) is former CEO and Vice-President of BP Alternative Energy. From 1996, Vivienne managed the development of new business in Central and Eastern Europe, before pulling together all of BP’s trading activities into a single organisation which she led until 2006.

Until recently, she served as Chair of Climate Change Capital, and currently sits on the Board of Rio Tinto plc. She is a non-executive director of the Department for International Development, and sits on the Airports Commission with responsibility for developing ideas to maintain the UK’s status as an international hub for aviation. She is also on the board of BG Group, Pearson and has recently been appointed Chairman of Vallourec SA, a French company in the CAC40.

Jane Platt

1975, Modern Languages

Chief Executive, National Savings & Investments

Businesswoman Jane Platt, CBE, is Chief Executive of the state-owned savings bank, National Savings and Investments (NS&I), one of the country's biggest savings institutions. NS&I is responsible for looking after some £100bn in savings for around 25 million people. 

Jane began her career as a fund manager in the City, most notably investing pension fund portfolios for Mercury Asset Management. She was appointed to run NS&I in 2006, having previously grown Barclays Stockbrokers as Chief Executive. She is now also a non-executive director of the Financial Conduct Authority and an advisory board member of Women in Banking and Finance.

Penny Handford

BSc, PhD S'ton, MA Oxf


I teach a range of tutorial topics on the Molecular and Cellular biochemistry course, 1st year- molecular cell biology, 2nd year, primer design and aspects of protein purification and 3rd year, extracellular matrix in health and disease. I lecture on the Biochemistry course to the 1st years and 3rd years. I host 4th year undergraduate students for their 18 week research projects.

About me

I have been Tutor in Biochemistry at St Catherine’s since October 1998; before that I was a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford.  I was awarded the personal title of Professor in the 2004 Recognition of Distinction exercise at the University of Oxford.


My long term interest has been in understanding molecular mechanisms underlying human disease. My early work focussed on haemophilia B and Marfan syndrome. My main research interests currently are i)  cell- extracellular matrix interactions in health and disease ( Marfan syndrome, acromelic dysplasias) and ii) cell surface organisation and regulation of  the Notch receptor and its ligands ( Alagille syndrome). My work is currently funded by MRC, CRUK and Arthritis Research UK.

Graduate Teaching

I have DPhil students and post-doctoral research assistants in my laboratory working on aspects of my research interests. I am college advisor to graduate students at St Catherine’s in the Medical sciences division.

Wolfson Fellow and Tutor in Biochemistry
Professor of Biochemistry

Fram Dinshaw

MA, DPhil Oxf

I came to St Catherine’s as a Junior Research Fellow in English Literature in 1979 and have been an Official fellow since 1984 and Finance Bursar since 1987. My research interests have included George Herbert and C17th English Literature, as well as the career of Kenneth Clark, and patronage and the arts in the Twentieth Century.



Finance Bursar

Christoph Reisinger

MA Oxf, Dr phil Heidelberg, Dipl Linz


I currently teach undergraduate classes and tutorials in applied mathematics and lecture Masters courses in mathematical and computational finance.

About me

I am a member of the Mathematical and Computational Finance Group at the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oxford, and have a doctorate in Mathematics from the University in Heidelberg.

My research covers various aspects of the development, analysis and implementation of numerical algorithms for partial differential equations and stochastic (partial) differential equations, such as those arising in financial engineering.

I serve as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Applied Mathematical Finance and am on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Computational Finance and the International Journal of Computer Mathematics.

Graduate teaching

I have supervised graduate students at Masters and PhD level in numerical analysis, scientific computing and computational finance and would welcome prospective students in these areas.

Fellow and Tutor in Mathematics
Professor of Applied Mathematics


Grunnfag Oslo, BA Yale, MA, DPhil Oxf


I teach the Prelims Victorian and Modern literature papers at Catz, as well as selected FHS papers on special topics such as Literature and Science, Fin de Siècle Literature and Modern Drama.  My lectures in the Faculty of English cover topics in modern drama and in literature and science from the nineteenth century to the present.

I supervise D Phil students working on a range of topics in modern drama and in literature and science.  I also regularly co-convene the Post-1900 M St and teach C-course options on modern British drama, Victorian theatre, Drama since 1945, and Women and Theatre.

About me

I received my BA in English from Yale University and then worked for two years in the publishing house Alfred A Knopf, Inc in New York City before graduate studies at the University of Oslo (on a Fulbright Grant) and then Oxford, where I received my D Phil in English.  Prior to coming to Oxford in 2007, I taught at the University of Birmingham in the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts.  Before that I taught at North Carolina State University in the Department of English, at the University of Pennsylvania, and at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

In addition to my roles within the Faculty and the college, I serve as the Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement Champion for the Humanities at Oxford (2015-17).


There are three main strands to my research.  One is the study of theatre and science, looking at the ways in which plays and performances have engaged with scientific ideas.  My book Theatre and Evolution from Ibsen to Beckett (Columbia University Press, 2015) investigates the interaction between theatre and evolutionary theory since the 1840s, encompassing the full spectrum of theories (Lamarck, Darwin, Haeckel, DeVries, Huxley, Wallace and many others) and a wide variety of dramatic modes and playwrights, some well known and some forgotten.  The project was supported by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 2011-12.  My book Science on Stage: From Doctor Faustus to Copenhagen (Princeton University Press, 2006; paperback 2012) traces the development of the "science play" since the Renaissance and was the first full-length study of this genre.  I have published articles on theatre and science in American Scientist, Nature, Gramma, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Women: A Cultural Review and elsewhere.  In addition I co-edited two special issues of Interdisciplinary Science Reviews on "New Directions in Theatre and Science" in 2013 and 2014.

I also work on Ibsen’s plays.  My book Ibsen and Early Modernist Theatre, 1890-1900 (1997) explores how Ibsen’s plays were staged and critically received in England and France in the context of the incipient modernist theatre.  Articles I have published in this area have appeared in Theatre Research International, Ibsen Studies, Nordic Theatre Studies, and elsewhere.  I convened the Ibsen Network at Oxford funded by TORCH (2013-15) and have just been awarded funding for a new Nordic Network which I co-convene with colleagues across the Humanities division:

The third key research interest for me is in the role of theatrical performance in the historiography of modernism, and I have published on this topic in journals such as Modernist Cultures and Theatre Research International.

Fellow and Tutor in English
Professor of English and Theatre Studies
Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement Champion for the Humanities Division

Marc Mulholland

BA, MA, PhD Belf, MA Oxf


In Prelims (First Year) I teach:

Approaches to History


General History IV (1815-1914)

British History VI (1815-1924)

British History VII (1914 - )

Optional Subject: Theories of the State (Aristotle, Hobbes, Rousseau, Marx)

Option Subject: The Rise and Fall of European Socialisms


In FHS (Final Honours School, Second and Third Year) I teach:

Disciplines of History

General History XII 1856-1914

General History XIII 1914-1944

General History XIV 1944-1973

British History VI (1815-1924)

British History VII (1914 - )

Further Subject: Nationalism, Politics and Culture in Ireland, c. 1870-1921

Special Subject: The Northern Ireland Troubles, 1965-1985

About me

The son of a forester and a primary school teacher, I was born in Ireland. I took my degrees up to PhD at the Queen’s University of Belfast.

Recent work includes:

Bourgeois Liberty and the politics of Fear: From Absolutism to Neo-Conservatism (Oxford, 2012)

‘Inventing the Working Class’ [Review Essay on Marx], Dublin Review of Books, August 2013

Terence O’Neill: Life and Times (Dublin, 2013)


About half the time, I work on Irish History in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Otherwise I’m researching the history of political thought since the French Revolution. Currently I have two projects underway: Irish peasant activism in the 1880s, and leftist attitudes internationally to the proletarian working-class.

Graduate teaching

I have supervised graduate students at Masters and PhD level on nineteenth and twentieth Irish history and leftist political thought, and would welcome prospective students in these areas.



Wolfson Fellow and Tutor in History
Professor of Modern History
Senior Tutor

The Year

The Year is our annual College record, but it's more than just an annual review. It's a snapshot of life at St Catz, with contributions from Fellows, students and Alumni. You can read our latest edition of The Year by clicking on the image to the right. Past issues can be found in our archive below.  



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