Sabrina recently completed her PhD as the first Gates Cambridge Scholar from Indonesia. Her thesis focused on the implementation and outcome evaluation of mental health care policies in Indonesia, specifically in adapting service delivery models to local contexts. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University College Dublin, working on the implementation of Collective Leadership in the Ireland East Hospital Group.
Sabrina holds a BA in Psychology and Asian Studies from the University of Melbourne, and an MSc in Organisational Psychiatry and Psychology from King’s College London. Prior to Cambridge, Sabrina worked at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore and at the Ministry of Social and Family Development, Singapore. She’s a World Economic Forum Global Shaper.
I am a social psychologist and I study and mobilise around drivers for gender equality and sustainable development. My doctoral research at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health aims to use theoretical perspectives from social psychology to evaluate the impact of an innovative NGO-run community education programme in Mumbai (https://www.muktanganedu.org/) on the empowerment of women.
Through my research, I aim to produce policy relevant insights into women's empowerment and well-being in low-income settings. Prior to my PhD, I completed the MPhil in Social and Development Psychology at Cambridge (2015-16), as part of which I examined perceptions of mental illness among slum-dwelling Indian women and how these relate to their sociocultural context. My findings have been published in Transcultural Psychiatry: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1363461520947836
I am immensely thankful to the Trust for their support, without which I would not have been a part of this rich heritage. I had many mentors on my way to this scholarship and I am passionate about paying it forward. If you're interested in my work you can follow me on Twitter: Saloni_Atal
University of Hong Kong
University of Cambridge
I was born and raised in a village among the beautiful Dolomiti Mountains near the city of Trento, but I studied at the University of Padova where I obtained a BA in Psychology and an MA in Clinical Psychology. During my studies, I developed an interest in difficulties experienced during schooling and in the electrophysiology of mathematical cognition. My PhD research at the Centre for Neuroscience in Education will be at the confluence of these two interests. I will study the characteristics of the physiological reactions of students experiencing high anxiety in relation to mathematics. In particular, I will focus on gender differences and I will assess whether biofeedback techniques can be used to overcome such a difficulty. At university I taught Italian to immigrants through charities, motivated by the firm belief that learning how to speak the local language is the first step that helps in the process of integration.
During my MPhil in Social and Developmental Psychology at Cambridge I studied the impact of the quality of children’s human and pet relationships on their social and emotional wellbeing. I took this research a step further in my PhD in Psychiatry by examining the extent to which self-harm behaviours among adolescents can be predicted by the security of their attachments to their parents. Self-harm typically originates in adolescence, is addictive, socially contagious, and tends to escalate over time. As such, early interventions are imperative in order to prevent experimentation from becoming habit, incident from becoming epidemic, and harm from becoming suicide. I hope that by uncovering some of the etiological pathways to these deleterious behaviours, my research will lead to the development of more efficacious treatments and better prognoses for patients.
Univeristy of Cambridge 2013
Queen's Univeristy 2008
I graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Molecular Biology and Certificates in Musical Performance and Neuroscience. Neuroscience captures my curiosity unlike anything else. My academic work, including my senior thesis research, and volunteer experiences in the clinic and beyond have motivated me to focus on developing a better understanding of the pathophysiology of autism spectrum disorders, and by extension elucidating possible molecular mechanisms which would lead to more effective treatment. At Cambridge, I look forward to pursuing an MPhil in Medical Science (Psychiatry) and investigating transcriptional and epigenetic regulation in the autistic brain in the research group of Professor Simon Baron-Cohen. Ultimately, I plan to pursue a career as a physician-scientist in order to develop more effective therapies for such complex neurodevelopmental disorders as autism.
I am very priviledged to be part of the Gates Cambridge Community. Being an educationist, I look forward to the exciting adventure ahead, to advance the cause of education and contribute to the society, in the spirit of a Gates Cambridge scholar.
Dr. Lindsay Chura is currently the Chief Scientific Officer for the Global Council on Brain Health, an AARP and Age UK collaborative, focused on providing clear and dependable recommendations for maintaining and improving brain health. Lindsay previously held the position as Senior Policy Advisor for Science and Innovation at the British Embassy in Washington where she advised the Ambassador on international health and science issues impacting the UK/US bilateral relationship in addition to leading science diplomacy delegations abroad. Lindsay received her doctorate in Psychiatry at Cambridge for her research that applied neuroimaging techniques to investigate brain structure and function in children with autism she worked with across England. As a Gates Cambridge Scholar, she was actively involved in the scholarship community and managed the Gates Distinguished Lecture Series for two years as an officer on the Scholars’ Council. Prior to studying in the UK, Lindsay was a Fulbright Scholar at a clinic in Australia specialising in reproductive medicine. An alumna of Mount Holyoke College, Lindsay has published across a range of scientific domains, and has previously written for US News & World Report as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Mass Media Fellow. She enjoys engaging with schools and the wider community through science outreach activities.
“Why do people suffer?” asked a 13-year-old boy with many passports, when he travelled and saw his privilege reflected in the eyes of the world. Born to two statistics professors he was curious about anything besides academia, and so left his Australian physics degree for the adventure of technology startups in China. He wandered to monasteries in Tibet, sat for ten days of silent meditation at the edge of a South African desert, and tried to appreciate all he was born with by working as a data scientist at Airbnb. Then, he became depressed. Emerging on the other side thanks to care and treatment that so few can access, he wondered, “If even I, with all my comforts, feel this pain, perhaps Buddha was right that suffering begins in the mind?” And so I left Silicon Valley for Cambridge to contribute what I can to depression research. Neuroscience is in a golden age, powered by technologies that integrate genetics, drugs, psychology, and data. Yet we are challenged by the brain’s complexity, inconsistency of psychiatric diagnosis, and increase in depression especially among the most disadvantaged. I am grateful for the chance to offer my experiences and skills in helping shed light on these mysteries.
University of Cambridge Neuroscience 2021
National University of Singapore Physics 2013
Australian National University Physics 2013
Trained as a psychologist in Madrid (Spain) and as a neuroscientist in Utrecht (The Netherlands), I'm very interested in the interface between neuropsychology and fundamental neuroscience as a way to identify the neuro-biological mechanisms underlying psychopathology. For my PhD, I am combining various neuroimaging techniques with psychopharmacology, neuropsychological testing and genetic profiling on various psychiatric patient groups, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
During my undergraduate studies in Cognitive Science at Osnabrück University in Germany I became interested in machine learning and graph theory. I joined professor Henrik Walter’s lab at Charité University in Berlin, Germany, and worked with Dr. Jonathan Clayden at the Developmental Imaging and Biophysics Unit at University College London, UK. I am fascinated by a graph-theoretical approach to the study of whole-brain network organization in health and disease. Psychiatric illnesses, like mood disorders, often impede with our ability to lead independent and self-determined lives. With my research, I aim to contribute to a better understanding of such illnesses in order to develop biomarkers that allow for the effective detection, prediction and discrimination of mood disorders. At Cambridge I will be doing a PhD in Psychiatry, studying trajectories of brain network development, adolescent depressive symptoms and mood disorder. I will combine multimodal MRI metrics of network organization with machine learning tools to identify network phenotypes that are most predictive of subclinical depressive symptoms and depressive disorder.
University of Osnabruck
Early in my medical training, I was struck by the fact that across my lifetime we will finally come to understand much of the neurobiology underpinning psychiatric disorders, and that with this will come a profound shift in the way these disorders are viewed by the public and managed by medical professionals. I have found the lure of watching and contributing to this change irresistible, and am particularly interested in understanding the molecular and cellular substrates of these conditions. At Cambridge, I will use high-resolution structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, behavioural testing, immunophenotyping, and ex vivo assays on brain tissue to investigate using rodents the role of immune system over-activation in depression. Psychiatry and neuroscience aside, I enjoy travelling, skiing, tennis, advocacy, and philosophy. I am very excited to meet my fellow Gates classmates and to go on to be inspired and motivated by this diverse group of future leaders.
University of Adelaide
I am a resident physician in pediatrics and medical genetics at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. I am particularly interested in the genetics and genomics of neuropsychiatric disease, in particular autism, and the evolution of copy number variable regions of the genome. Outside of the hospital, I serve as the resident editor for the Journal of Pediatrics and enjoy activities such as skiing, hiking, traveling, fly-fishing, and cooking.
I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2009 with a degree in neuroscience and an interest in medical anthropology. I graduated with my MPhil in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge in 2013 and with my medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. I'm pursuing psychiatric residency training at the Cambridge Health Alliance / Harvard Medical School program. I am interested in the broader political, social, and economic context of health and mental illness. The magnitude of existing social inequities calls for a better understanding of the relationships among poverty, social disadvantage, and vulnerability to mental illness. I am also interested in improving psychiatric care to linguistic and ethnic minority groups, as well as refugees and immigrants.
Johns Hopkins University 2014
University of Michigan Neuroscience 2009
The brain is an enigmatic organ comprised of more connections between its neurons than stars in our galaxy. It was the imagery this statement evoked, and the ensuing implications, that first inspired me to pursue a double major in Neuroscience and Philosophy of Mind at Quest University Canada. As my interests evolved, they came to encompass psychiatric illness and substance-use disorders in particular. For my Bachelor’s thesis, I conducted graduate-level research on adult neurogenesis and morphine addiction at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. Since my undergraduate education, I have endeavoured to diversify my experiences and broaden my perspectives, traveling to remote communities in Siberia, guiding expeditions in Mongolia, and volunteering on medical pilgrimages in Nepal. Currently, I work as a research assistant at a women’s medical clinic, and serve on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization in Vancouver. Above all, these seemingly disparate opportunities engendered in me a commitment to improving the lives of others. It is this commitment, along with my persistent passion for the mind, that led me to the MPhil in Medical Science (Psychiatry) at the University of Cambridge where I will conduct research on vulnerability and resilience in substance-use disorders. I am grateful for the opportunity to join the Gates Cambridge community, and look forward to engaging with other passionate scholars as we catalyze change.
Quest University Canada
My curiosity about how people think and behave evolved into a desire to study the brain, which I explored as an undergraduate at Vassar College. Fascinated by the prospect of beginning to understand the neural basis of psychiatric disorders, I explored the field after graduation in the lab of Elizabeth Phelps at New York University. I obtained a compelling sense of how animal studies can be translated into human neuroscience to uncover the roots of mental illness, and became inspired to pursue a career as a psychiatrist and researcher. I have completed a substantial portion of my MD degree at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, which I will finish after Cambridge, before pursuing specialization in psychiatry. During my PhD I will integrate pharmacological and neuroimaging methods to examine the influence of the neurochemical serotonin on emotional and behavioral flexibility. Serotonergic drugs are among the most common medications I will prescribe yet the precise role of serotonin in mental illness and its remediation is not completely understood. Complementing my MD training with PhD training at Cambridge will optimize my ability to increase communication between neuroscientists and psychiatrists. The Gates Cambridge Scholarship will make me a more impactful physician – helping patients beyond those who enter my office – by advancing our understanding of mental illness, and working to counter a formidable disease burden costly to individual sufferers and to society.
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
My investigations are based on developing paradigms of executive function and decision making as indices of corticostriatal function, sensitive to neuropsychological deficits seen in neurodegenerative conditions and following brain damage. Techniques include fMRI and pharmacology of disease modifying as well as cognitive enhancing drugs, such as levodopa and atomoxetine. Current research interests lie in the domain of Parkinson’s disease and dementia, and developing neuropsychological and neuroimaging methods to improve early and accurate diagnosis, with a view to tailoring pharmacotherapy. In addition to my empirical work in neuroscience, I am interested in philosophical issues surrounding the concept of disorder in the cognitive, affective and psychiatric domains; the social implications of neuroscientific advances.
I grew up in a Navy family, moving around five different states before attending high school. As a student in the 5-year Computer Science BS/MS program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (with a minor in Russian language!), I became interested in computational analysis of diffusion MRIs of the brain as a means of detecting neurological disorders. This research took me to laboratories in St. Petersburg and London, as well as many hours on Linux machines at the UNC medical school. At Cambridge, I will pursue a PhD in Psychiatry, modeling structural and functional MRI data in infants using a neural connectome. I hope to establish a practical and theoretical basis for a new approach to neural connectomes that focuses on analyzing circuitous connections in the brain, as a way to predict mental illness and neurological disorders in children. In the future, I would like to found a research-based company that develops diagnostic image analysis techniques, focusing on both developing this technology and delivering it to the hands of medical doctors that can use it to directly impact the lives of others.
University of North Carolina
As an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, I developed an interest in death and dying. This interest alone does not make me unusual. People have always been interested in, if not concerned by, death. Mortality, after all, is something which all humans share. It is also something which has important consequences for how we live and think about our lives. Considering death involves considering what it is to live, and considering whether death can be a harm involves determining how to live a good life. As a PhD candidate in Ancient Philosophy at Cambridge, I will focus my research on Lucretius’ treatment of death and poetic immortality. With Lucretius as my guide, I plan to address the following questions: To what extent does a sustained reflection on mortality direct one’s philosophical and practical activities? In what sense does such an examination influence how we understand the shape or structure of human life? How might thinking about the nature and value of death shed light on questions of well-being, metaphysical and personal identity, and prudential reasoning? In thinking through the issues involved in these discussions it is my goal not only to illuminate Lucretius’ own views, but also offer some assistance in our own engagement with the same questions.
University of Cambridge