Professor Jane Clarke started a PhD at the age of 40 with Professor Sir Alan Fersht in Cambridge, after several years teaching science in secondary schools London and elsewhere. She did a post-doc in biological NMR at the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering and then joined the Chemistry department in the University of Cambridge as a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow in 1997. She was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences in 2013 and a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2015, and international member of NAS in 2023. She has served on the executive committees of both the Protein Society and the Biophysical Society. International awards include her election as a member of EMBO, as a Fellow of the Biophysical Society and receiving the Stein and Moore Award of the Protein Society. She is currently the President of Wolfson College Cambridge. Shas a particular interest in widening participation in education, in general, and science, in particular. She knows by experience that, given a supportive environment, it is possible to have a successful academic career combined happily with being a mother (and grandmother too!).

Research Interests

Jane Clarke pioneered the studies of families of structurally related proteins, to understand the relationship of a protein sequence to its structure, folding pathway, biophysical properties and interactions, and how sequence changes alter the properties and function of those proteins. She has used a multidisciplinary approach incorporating structural studies, standard biophysical techniques, protein engineering, molecular dynamics simulations, bioinformatics and single molecule spectroscopy to address specific questions:- • What is the relative importance of topology, chain connectivity, secondary structure content and sequence in the folding of small model proteins? • How do larger, multi-domain proteins fold and, most importantly, avoid misfolding? • How does force modulate the protein folding energy landscape? • Why and how do intrinsically disordered proteins play a significant role in Biology – in particular in signalling pathways? Of particular importance to the success of this endeavor has been the many and varied international collaborations with protein scientists from many difference disciplines.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 29: Biophysics and Computational Biology