Recent promotions for three of Newnham’s Fellows, recognised for their outstanding contributions to their fields.

Newnham College is delighted to mark academic promotions for three of our Fellows. Scientist Dr Róisín Owens has been made Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, economist Dr Helen Xiaohui Bao is now Reader in Land Economy, and physicist Dr Tina Potter has become Reader in the Department of Physics.

Prof Róisín M. Owens is a multidisciplinary scientist working at the interface of biology and electronic engineering. Her current research centres on the application of organic electronic materials for monitoring biological systems in vitro, with a specific interest in studying the gut-brain-microbiome axis. She is a world leader in development of in-vitro models for understanding pathologies and characterising cell interfaces.
Prof Owens’ work was recognised in 2019 with the award of the Suffrage Science Award from the Royal Academy. Her work has been covered on many news outlets, including the BBC who featured her “human organs on chip”

Dr Helen Bao researches the economics of real estate, and how people make sound financial decisions. Dr Bao is joint Principal Investigator on the ESRC – NSFC Grant-funded project “Nudging towards a better financial future: applying behavioural insights in the development of financial systems in rural China.” The overarching research question for the project is how behavioural insights can be used to help rural residents in China make sound financial decisions, enabling them to move out of poverty, and ultimately contributing to sustainable economic development in China.

Dr Tina Potter is a physicist, focusing on the discovery of new physics beyond the Standard Model and the as-yet unexplained Dark Matter. By focussing on the design of novel and sensitive searches for new physics, such as supersymmetry, the ultimate goal of her work is to discover a new particle that will help us understand the composition of our universe.
Her research also involves understanding the potential for the discovery or characterisation of new physics scenarios at future colliders.

Alison Rose, Principal of Newnham College, said “I am delighted to see the outstanding research of three of our fellows recognised in these recent promotions. Róisín’s work may lead to medical breakthroughs, Helen’s work gives fascinating insights into developing a sustainable economy in China, and Tina’s work could help us further understand the formation of the Universe. Their work shows the diversity of research at Newnham, and the quality of the teaching available to our students. What is more, all three contribute so much to the broader life of College, and I’m sure their colleagues will be delighted to hear this news.”