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Four academics from MPLS Division have been recognised in the New Year Honours 2024 Lists.

The Radcliffe Camera building, Oxford

Professor Dame Molly BlackProfessor Molly Stevens FRS FREng, John Black Professor of Bionanoscience at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics and the Institute for 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.’

Three other researchers in MPLS have been appointed OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire).

Professor Roger Heath-BrownProfessor David Rodney (Roger) Heath-Brown FRS, Emeritus Fellow of Maths at the Mathematical Institute, has been appointed 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 YeomansProfessor Julia Mary Yeomans FRS, Professor of Physics and Head of the Rudolf Peierls Centre, has been appointed 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 BortolettoProfessor Daniela Bortoletto, Head of Particle Physics, has been appointed 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.’

Read the full list of University of Oxford academics receiving awards in the New Year Honours.

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