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Professor Dame Jean Thomas Hon FSB will succeed Dame Nancy Rothwell as the Society’s president.

Dame Jean has been master of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, since 2007 and is emeritus professor of macromolecular biochemistry at the university. She continues to lead a small team studying the structure and dynamics of chromatin and associated proteins.

Dame Jean is the first female master of St Catharine’s, which dates back to 1473. She is vice president and biological secretary of the Royal Society, and was created a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to biochemistry in 2004.

On her new role, Dame Jean said: “It’s a real honour to become president, succeeding Nancy, who has done a truly excellent job as the Society’s first president and will be a hard act to follow. For an organisation that is only four years old, the impact the Society has already made is impressive, particularly in science policy and biology education.

“This is a very exciting time to get involved with the Society, and I am looking forward to working with the Council and staff on the challenges ahead.”

Dame Jean succeeds Dame Nancy Rothwell, who has been president since 2009. Dame Nancy said: “It has been a fascinating four years as the first president of the Society, and a real pleasure working with my colleagues on Council and with members of staff. I’m so pleased that Jean is taking over from me, and I look forward to seeing the Society go from strength to strength.”

The Society has also awarded physicist Professor Brian Cox an honorary fellowship for his work in communicating science to the public.

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