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Julia was the youngest to gain her PhD in this cohort, graduating in 1975 in Biophysics with her PhD "Structural Studies of the Corneal Stroma". Moving around the country a few times as a child, she attended a variety of schools and, despite this, passed her 11+ and, in her words, this "opened a lot of doors for her". Her father’s engineering studies were an example to her of the importance of careers that allowed part time study whilst working. This may have impacted some of the future choices she made to study at the OU and work at Birkbeck college, both institutions where remote learning were their signature. Altho...ugh her mother died when Julia was 13, her mother’s pre-marriage career in the tax office, and two aunts who were doctors, were examples to her of career women at a time when it was unusual. Academically, Julia was a high achiever in science and went on to study Physics at Bristol University and, having been highly motivated by a third-year undergraduate research project, gained a scholarship to study for a PhD for the OU at the Oxford Research Unit. Straight after completing her PhD, Julia flew to a job in Stanford University, California in January 1976 with her geneticist husband, Peter, returning to Birkbeck College in London becoming Professor of Biomolecular Sciences in 1995 and then Vice-Master 1998-2002. Her next move was as Chief Executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), becoming the first woman to run any research council. She became Vice Chancellor and President of Kent University until her retirement in 2017. She also served as President of Universities UK from 2015-2017 and has been a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology from 2011 to 2019 and much more. Of the many honours she has received, the pinnacle was being promoted from her 2001 CBE, to Dame Commander of the order of the British Empire in 2010. As with many of our PhD graduates, Julia has not actually retired in reality. She is President of the Royal Society of Biology, Chair of Public Health England, on the board of the University of Hertfordshire, a trustee of the Institute for Research in Schools and on the advisory board of the Higher education Policy Institute. She is a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society of Biology and the Institute of Physics. 
Metadata describing this person
Name: Professor Julia Goodfellow
Gender: Female
Project person ID: phd_005
Event: Awarded PhD, 1975
Thesis title: Structural Studies of the Corneal Stroma