Jane Clarke is a distinguished biophysical chemist recognised internationally for her multidisciplinary studies that have advanced the understanding of protein folding and misfolding and as Professor of Molecular Biophysics in the Chemistry Department of the University of Cambridge her scientific interests are in the broad field of protein folding and interactions. She retired from her Professorship at the end of September 2017, immediately prior to taking up the role of President of Wolfson College, although she still has a small research group in Chemistry.
With its particularly diverse community, catering for mature undergraduate and graduate students, Wolfson resonates particularly with Jane because of her own somewhat unusual career. She started a PhD at the age of 40 with Professor Sir Alan Fersht in Cambridge, after several years teaching in comprehensive schools in London and elsewhere. Jane did a post-doc in biological NMR at the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering and then re-joined the Chemistry department as a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in 1997. She was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences in 2013 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2015, and is recognised internationally as a leader in her field having been elected a Fellow of the American Biophysical Society and having been awarded the prestigious Stein and Moore Award of the Protein Society in 2016.
Jane has managed a diverse, multidisciplinary and multinational research team successfully for the past 20 years. She has a particular interest in widening participation in education in general and science in particular. Reflecting this interest Jane is a member of the Royal Society's Education and Diversity committees, and of the Wellcome Trust Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee. She has worked extensively to encourage young women to stay in science as so many talented women are lost at the stage where they move between post-doctoral and faculty positions. Jane knows by experience that, given a supportive environment, it is possible to have a successful academic career combined happily with being a mother (and grandmother too!).