Angela VincentEmeritus Fellow
Professor Vincent’s (FRS FMedSci) major research interest is in the role of autoimmunity in neurological diseases, mainly auto-antibody mediated ion channel and receptor disorders.
These rare conditions are now recognised world-wide, diagnosed with tests she helped to develop, and treated with drugs that reduce the levels of the antibodies, with very good clinical responses.
She was previously honorary consultant in immunology and founded the Oxford Clinical Neuroimmunology service, an international referral centre for the measurement of antibodies in neurological diseases, that she led for 24 years. She was formerly Head of Department of Clinical Neurology (2005-2008), President of the International Society of Neuroimmunology (2001-2004), and an Associate Editor of the journal Brain (2004-2013). She formally retired in 2016 but has continued to publish with collaborators in the UK and abroad (total >400). She has received many national and international awards for her work.
Selected key publications
Vincent A A. Immunology of acetylcholine receptors in relation to myasthenia gravis. Physiological reviews. 1980 60:756-824.
Vincent A. Unravelling the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis. Nature reviews Immunology. 2002 2:797-804.
Hoch W, …….Vincent A. 2001. Autoantibodies to the receptor tyrosine kinase MuSK in patients with myasthenia gravis without acetylcholine receptor antibodies. Nat Med 7: 365-368.
Vincent A et al. Association of Leucine-Rich Glioma Inactivated Protein 1, Contactin-Associated Protein 2, and Contactin 2 Antibodies With Clinical Features and Patient-Reported Pain in Acquired Neuromyotonia. JAMA Neurol. 2018;75:1519-1527
Vincent A et al. Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita with Maternal Autoantibodies Specific for a Fetal Antigen. Lancet. 1995;346:24-5.
Coutinho E…….Vincent A. Persistent microglial activation and synaptic loss with behavioral abnormalities in mouse offspring exposed to CASPR2-antibodies in utero. Acta Neuropathol. 2017;134:567-583.
Coutinho E……… Vincent A. Inhibition of Maternal-to-Fetal Transfer of IgG Antibodies by FcRn Blockade in a Mouse Model of Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2021;8:e1011.
Vincent A et al. Potassium channel antibody-associated encephalopathy: a potentially immunotherapy-responsive form of limbic encephalitis. Brain 2004;127:701-712.
Irani SR…………..Vincent A. Antibodies to Kv1 potassium channel-complex proteins leucine-rich, glioma inactivated 1 protein and contactin-associated protein-2 in limbic encephalitis, Morvan’s syndrome and acquired neuromyotonia. Brain;2010;133:2734-48.
Professor Clair WillsHonorary Fellow
Professor Clair Wills writes about the social, cultural and literary history of Britain and Ireland in the twentieth century.
Professor Wills works across the disciplines of literature, history, and cultural theory and is keen to explore new genres of academic writing. Her research focuses upon: migration in post-war Europe and the ways in which it gets represented by migrants and others; literature and culture in Northern Ireland; contemporary British fiction; feminism and women’s writing; and the history and experiences of coercive confinement in institutions (including psychiatric institutions) in Britain and Ireland in the twentieth century.
Clair is the King Edward VII Professor of English Literature at the University of Cambridge and a Professorial Fellow of Murray Edward College. She previously taught at Queen Mary University of London, at Princeton, and via numerous visiting fellowships. She has been a research associate at the Centre for Contemporary Irish History, Trinity College Dublin since 2007, and was elected an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2016.
In 2017, she was the recipient of the Irish Times International Non-Fiction Book of the Year for her book Lovers and Strangers. She also received the International PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and the American Conference for Irish Studies Michael J. Durkan Prize for her 2008 book That Neutral Island. A keen jazz dancer, Professor Wills set up an interdisciplinary workshop with colleagues in Cambridge to explore the question, ‘What do we write about when we write about dance?’
Lovers and Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain (London: Allen Lane/Penguin Random House, 2017).
The Best Are Leaving: Emigration and Post-War Irish Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Dublin 1916: The Siege of the GPO (London: Profile, 2009; Harvard: Harvard University Press, 2009).
That Neutral Island: A History of Ireland during the Second World War (London, Faber and Faber, 2007; Boston, Harvard University Press, 2007).
General Editor, with Bourke, Kilfeather, Luddy, MacCurtain, Meaney, Ní Dhonnchadha, O’Dowd., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Women’s Writing and Traditions, Vols. 4 & 5. (Cork: Cork University Press in association with Field Day, 2002).
Reading Paul Muldoon (Newcastle-Upon-Tyne: Bloodaxe Books, 1998).
Improprieties: Politics and Sexuality in Northern Irish Poetry (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993).
Professor Baroness Wolf of Dulwich CBEHonorary Fellow
Professor Alison Wolf CBE is the Sir Roy Griffiths Professor of Public Sector Management at Kings College London, and a cross-bench peer (Baroness Wolf of Dulwich) in the House of Lords.
She specialises in the relationship between education and the labour market. She has a particular interest in training and skills policy, universities, and the medical workforce. The latter is particularly appropriate to the Chair she holds, established in memory of an influential government adviser on medical management. Alison’s publications include The XX Factor: How Working Women Are Creating A New Society (Profile Books 2013) and Remaking Tertiary Education (Resolution Foundation 2016).
Alison is highly involved in policy debate, both in this country and more widely and is currently seconded part-time to the government as an expert adviser on skills policy. In February 2018, she was appointed to the English Government’s Review of Post-18 Education and Funding, as a member of the independent expert panel. The report of the panel (‘the ‘Augar Review’) was published in 2019: the government has published an interim response, accepting some of the key recommendations. In 2019 Alison delivered the annual King’s lectures, on ‘Universities. the economy and the state’. She has been a specialist adviser to the House of Commons select committee on education and skills; writes widely for the national press and is a presenter for Analysis on BBC Radio 4; and in March 2011 completed the The Wolf Review, written by Professor Wolf, a Review of Vocational Education for the Secretary of State for Education. In 2015/16 she was a member of the independent panel on technical education, chaired by Lord David Sainsbury, whose report formed the basis of the Government’s 2016 Skills Plan.
While most of Alison’s current work focuses on the interface between education institutions and labour markets, she also has long-standing interests in assessment, and in mathematics education. She was the founding Chair of Governors of the King’s College London Mathematics School, established by King’s College London. Alison was awarded the 2008 Sam Aaronovitch memorial prize for her article in Local Economy on the Leitch Review of Skills. She has been an adviser to, among others, the OECD, the Royal College of Surgeons, the Ministries of Education of New Zealand, France and South Africa, the European Commission, the International Accounting Education Standards Board, and the Bar Council. She was educated at the universities of Oxford (MA, MPhil) and Neuchatel.
Alison spent her early career in the United States working as a policy analyst for the federal government, and spent many years at the Institute of Education, University of London, where she is a visiting professor. Alison was awarded the CBE for services to education in the Queen’s 2012 birthday honours.
Farhana YaminHonorary Fellow
Farhana Yamin grew up in London and came to Somerville in 1983 to study PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics). After graduation, Yamin qualified as a solicitor and worked as an environmental lawyer, becoming a climate change and development policy expert. In 2001, she helped to deliver the Marrakech Accords, the international rules needed to complete the Kyoto Protocol and she has been advising leaders and countries on climate change and development policy for 30 years.
Yamin has taught in UK universities since 1995, including as a Visiting Professor at University College London. She stepped back from the world of academia and UN negotiations in 2018 to focus on non-violent civil disobedience and social justice movements challenging capitalism. As a Political Coordinator of Extinction Rebellion for a year, Yamin played a key role in the XR April 2019 protests, gluing herself to the Shell HQ offices in London, alongside thousands of other activists. She is a champion of community-based action and co-founded Camden Think & Do, where she is experimenting with radical inclusion & concepts of spatial justice by supporting communities create pop-up action hubs in high streets and public spaces. She also sits as an expert on various Commissions including Camden Renewal Commission and IPPR’s Commission on Environmental Justice.
Farhana serves as trustee or adviser to a number of organisations working on the intersection of social, racial and ecological justice, including Greenpeace UK, WWF-UK and Julie’s Bicycle, an organisation working to support artists and the cultural sector in tackling climate and sustainability. Yamin is currently a Senior Associate at the UK think thank company Systemiq and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and was made an Honorary Fellow of Somerville College in 2022.
Did you know? Farhana first broke the law in the name of climate justice in 2019, when she glued herself to the ground outside the Shell headquarters in London. Her protest formed a central part of the 2021 film Rebellion, which relates the inside story of XR from grassroots activism to international impact.
Professor Julia YeomansHonorary Fellow
Professor Julia Yeomans (1973, Physics) is a British theoretical physicist active in the fields of soft condensed matter and biological physics.
After her completing her undergraduate degree at Somerville, Professor Yeomans conducted doctoral research on critical phenomena in spin models at Wolfson College. She spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University with Michael E. Fisher, before returning to the UK as lecturer in Physics at the University of Southampton. In 1983, she moved to the University of Oxford where she became a professor in 2002.
Yeomans is a professor at the Rudolf Peierls centre for theoretical physics. Her research investigates theoretical modelling of processes in complex fluids including liquid crystals, drops on hydrophobic surfaces, microchannels, as well as bacteria. In 2012, Professor Yeomans was awarded a European Research Council advanced research grant for her research proposal Microflow in complex environments.
Professor Yeomans was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2013, and in 2021 she received the Sam Edwards Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics, for her contributions to soft and active matter, statistical physics and biophysics.
She was made an Honorary Fellow of Somerville in College in April 2022.