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Welcome to the newest members of Hughes Hall’s Fellowship

We are pleased to announce the Governing Body Fellows and By-Fellows who have joined our community since the summer.

The senior membership of Hughes Hall comprises a broad range of professional academics at all stages of their academic careers, from early career researchers developing their research profiles, to established professors directing world-class research, as well as professionals from a variety of non-academic backgrounds. These individuals represent the core academic, cultural and institutional leadership of the College community.

Governing Body Fellows

Dr Farah Ahmed, Education

Farah Ahmed is Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. She co-convenes the Intercultural and Conflict-transformation Dialogue’ strand of the Cambridge Educational Dialogue Research group. Her current project is Rethinking Islamic education for British Muslim children: a philosophical investigation of dialogue in Islamic educational theory and an empirical study trialling dialogic pedagogy in UK madrasahs (supplementary schools). Farah has published widely on Islamic education and is founder and Director of Education and Research at Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation, where she has worked for 17 years on research driven curriculum development and teacher education for Muslim teachers.

Dr Fatmah Mish Ebrahim, Physical Sciences, Education, Business, Humanities and Social Sciences

Fatmah Mish Ebrahim is a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Fellow in the Optoelectronics group (OE) of the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge. Her research focuses on designing molecular materials for a range of energy- and environment-related applications. Drawing from a diverse background in inorganic chemistry, spectroscopy, and microengineering, Mish synthesizes materials with targeted functionalities, studies the mechanisms governing their photo-chemical behaviour, and uses those insights to construct prototypes that demonstrate their potential in real-world applications.

Dr Farah Ahmed, Dr Fatmah Mish Ebrahim and Emily Farnworth join as Governing Body Fellows

Emily Farnworth,  Law, Business, Humanities and Social Sciences

Emily Farnworth is Co-Director of the Centre for Climate Engagement at Hughes Hall. She has over 25 years of experience working with businesses, governments and non-profit organisations to support the transition to a low-carbon economy and has worked across multi-stakeholder groups and within specific industry sectors to collaborate on solutions to tackle climate change. She was previously the Head of Climate Initiatives at the World Economic Forum where she was involved in setting up the Climate Governance Initiative (now hosted at the Centre for Climate Engagement).

Dr David McCay, Humanities and Social Sciences and Law

David McCay is a post-doctoral research associate in the department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. After the completion of his PhD at St John’s College (2020), he now works on the Leverhulme-funded ‘Mapping the Medieval Mind’ project, preparing digital editions, translations, and analyses of the Dindshenchas, a medieval Irish collection of narrative tales which purports to explain the origins of place names. David’s current research focusses on the use of place and the past in medieval Irish texts, and on compilation, genre formation, history writing, and manuscript culture more broadly.

Dr Perla Pucci, Biomedical, Education, Business, Physical Sciences

Perla Pucci is a postdoctoral research associate in molecular oncology and a Research Fellow at the Department of Pathology. Her work is focussed on the study of the molecular mechanisms that drive resistance to cancer treatments, using high-throughput approaches such as genome-wide CRISPR/CAS9 and drug screens and aims to discover novel personalized combination treatments to improve patients quality of life and survival. Perla has shown the role of long noncoding RNAs and micro RNAs in the regulation of cancer resistance to therapy, in incurable subtypes of prostate cancer and high-risk neuroblastoma.

Dr David McCay, Dr Perla Pucci and Dr Claire West join as Governing Body Fellows

Professor Jorge Santos, Physical Sciences

Jorge Santos is a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. He currently leads research in general relativity, quantum gravity, gravitational aspects of string theory, numerical relativity, and applications of general relativity to condensed matter physics via holography.

Jorge joined Hughes Hall in 2005 as a Part III student and went on to complete his PhD in 2010. During his PhD, Jorge studied the stability of higher-dimensional black holes, which are gravitational objects inspired by String Theory. For this work he was awarded a IUPAP Young Scientist Prize in General Relativity and Gravitation awarded by The International Society on General Relativity & Gravitation.

Dr Claire West, Biomedical, Education, Physical Sciences

Dr Claire West completed her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2016 and earned her PhD in Chemistry at the University of Washington in December 2021 with a dissertation titled, “Theoretical Models and Numerical Approaches to Nanoscale Microscopies and Spectroscopies of Plasmonic Systems.” In 2022, she was awarded a Royal Society – Newton International Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Cambridge.

Professor Jorge Santos joins as a Governing Body Fellow; Dr Fay Gilder and Wendy Solomou join as By-Fellows


Dr Fay Gilder, Business

Dr Fay Gilder is the Medical Director of the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, Harlow and was appointed in November 2020. Prior to this, she was a consultant anaesthetist and clinical leader at Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust from 2003.  Her primary motivation is to enable an NHS organisational culture that places the highest quality care of patients and staff at the heart of all it does.

Wendy Solomou, Humanities and Social Sciences

Wendy Solomou is Secretary to Governing Body and Council at Hughes Hall and manages the Fellowships Office. Before joining Hughes in 2016, she was the University’s Student Statistics Officer with responsibility for making many of the University’s key statutory student returns. This followed a research career in the Department of Psychiatry (Healthy aging study), the Centre for Family Research (Diagnosis of fetal abnormality at different gestations: impact on parents and service implications), and the Centre for Housing and Planning Research, Department of Land Economy (Social housing and affordability).


Thank you to Dr Tobias Kohn who left the Governing Body in 2022.

Please see the Senior Members’ section of the College website for information about all our Senior Members at: www.hughes.cam.ac.uk/about/our-people/.