Jean Thomas (biochemist)
She was born in Treboeth, Swansea to John Robert and Lorna (née Harris) Thomas, attended Llwyn-y-Bryn High School for Girls and then studied chemistry at the University of Wales, gaining a first class B.Sc in 1964 and a PhD in 1967 with thesis titled Hydroxyl-carbonyl interaction in cyclic peptides and depsipeptides. She has been at Cambridge since 1967, where she was initially at Darwin College, Cambridge from 1967 to 1969. She was then made a Fellow of New Hall, Cambridge and Professor of Macromolecular Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, where she led a team studying the structure and dynamics of chromatin (the complex of proteins and DNA that constitutes chromosomes) and its role in the repression and activation of genes.
Thomas is the first female Master of St Catharine's College, which was founded in 1473 by Robert Woodlark and is the ninth oldest Cambridge College. The Master is elected by the President and Fellows of the College. She was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society in 1986  and became a Governor of the Wellcome Trust Ltd. in October 2000. She is currently the Biological Secretary and Vice-President of The Royal Society. She is also a Founding Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales.
She is an elected Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and of the Academia Europaea. She has served as a Member of the Council and Scientific Advisory Committee of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Scientific Advisory Committee of The Lister Institute for Preventative Medicine, and as a Trustee of the British Museum.
- St Catharine’s College, Cambridge elects new Master (23 March 2006)
- "Hydroxyl-carbonyl interaction in cyclic peptides and depsipeptides / Jean Olwen Thomas.". Swansea University Library Catalogue. Retrieved 02 Jan 2014.
- "Lists of Royal Society Fellows 1660-2007". London: The Royal Society. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- Board of Governors
- Biological Secretary
- "BBC NEWS - England - Cambridgeshire - Space explorer honoured with CBE". BBC News. 31 December 2004. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
|Master of St Catharine's College, Cambridge