First cohort of Gates Cambridge Class of 2022 announced

  • February 3, 2022
First cohort of Gates Cambridge Class of 2022 announced

Twenty three new Gates Cambridge Scholars from the US have been named and will join around 60 others in May to form the Class of 2022

We know that these scholars will flourish in the rich, international community at Cambridge and will go on to make a significant impact in their fields and to the wider global community.

Professor Barry Everitt

Twenty three of the most academically outstanding and socially committed US citizens have been selected to be part of the 2022 class of Gates Cambridge Scholars at the University of Cambridge.

The US Scholars-elect, who will take up their awards this October, are from a wide range of backgrounds. They come from 23 universities across the United States and beyond, including five institutions that have for the first time produced a Gates Cambridge Scholar (Colgate University in New York, Santa Clara University in California, Simmons University in Boston, Temple University in Philadelphia and the University of Central Florida). Fifteen are women and eight are men. Eighteen will pursue PhDs while five will undertake one-year master’s degrees.

They include:

Kevin Hsu, who will pursue a PhD Research in Politics and International Studies

Kevin has studied at Stanford and Johns Hopkins Universities, taught design at Stanford and has worked with leading scholars to pioneer online courses with a social mission that reached a global audience. He will focus on the public policy of climate change infrastructure, merging political-economy and a concern for social justice. His PhD will examine consensus-building strategies that empower democracies to accelerate the delivery of climate-relevant public works, while respecting the rights of communities and honouring their tangible/intangible values.

Shealynn Hendry, who will pursue a PhD in Research in History

Shealynn, who has been doing a dual master’s in History and Archive Management at Simmons University after working at a refugee camp, says she wanted to know how anyone might archive the records of displaced peoples and who had access to those records. Her PhD will focus on transnational events and displaced peoples not only as subjects of inquiry but as individuals with a unique admittance into the archival record who provide a significant perspective on collecting practice. She says: “It is my belief that the questions we ask of the past inform the questions we ask of ourselves.”

Ayden Case, who will pursue a PhD in Medicine

Ayden, who is currently at Duke University, is interested in investigating the barriers to care and adverse health outcomes faced by Native Americans in North Carolina. He will continue this work in Professor Ziad Mallat’s laboratory at Cambridge, where he will study a promising immunotherapy for atherosclerosis. He says: “Given the disparate impact of heart disease on racial and ethnic minority groups within both the US and UK, such advancements are poised to have a significant social impact.” Ayden, who is himself a Native American, hopes to develop cardiovascular immunotherapeutics which will alleviate the burden of heart disease on individuals and their communities.

Jennifer Miao, who will pursue a PhD in Biological Science at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Jennifer, who has been studying Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale, will research how the mitochondria, an essential organelle in nearly all eukaryotic cells, imports more than 1,000 proteins from the cytosol – the liquid found inside cells. She says: “This project could lead to a better understanding of how defects in mitochondrial metabolism cause various human neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases and to the design of novel therapeutics targeting mitochondrial metabolism.”

Eric Munro, who will pursue a PhD in Engineering

Eric, who attended Virginia Military Institute, will research the development of next generation miniaturised spectrometers using novel nano materials. The aim is to contribute toward critical areas of application such as sensors, surveillance and spectral imaging. He says: “It is exciting to have the opportunity to contribute toward the forefront of spectroscopic analysis, which is characterised by a demand for shrinking devices and improved resolution – such advancements in this field will contribute to the day-to-day lives of countless people.”

The 23 US Scholars-elect will study and research subjects ranging from the role of revolutionary narratives in Puerto Rico and Cuba and the history of enslaved women in the USA to bat reservoirs for viral diseases and the intersection between developmental and cancer biology.

The prestigious postgraduate scholarship programme – which fully funds postgraduate study and research in any subject at the University of Cambridge – was established through a US$210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000; this remains the largest single donation to a UK university. Since the first class in 2001, Gates Cambridge has awarded 2,003 scholarships to scholars from 111 countries who represent more than 700 universities globally (more than 200 in the USA) and almost 90 academic departments and all 31 Colleges at Cambridge.

In addition to outstanding academic achievement the programme places an emphasis on social leadership in its selection process. The programme’s aim is to create a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.

The US Scholars-elect will join around 60 Scholars from other parts of the world, who will be announced in early April. The full class of 2022 will join current Gates Cambridge Scholars in October to form a community of almost 300 current Scholars in residence at the world-leading University of Cambridge.

Professor Barry Everitt FRS, Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, said: “I’m delighted to announce the US cohort of the Gates Cambridge class of 2022. The last year has been another difficult one for all of us and has shown how many of the challenges we face require a global response which draws on a range of disciplines. The US Scholars-elect have been selected to reflect the mission of the Gates Cambridge Trust established through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s generous and historic gift to the University of Cambridge. Like their predecessors, this year’s cohort are an impressive and diverse group who have already achieved much in terms of their academic studies and leadership abilities and who have shown their commitment to improving the lives of others. We know that these scholars – and those we announce in early April from other parts of the world – will flourish in the rich, international community at Cambridge and will go on to make a significant impact in their fields and to the wider global community. I would also like to take this opportunity to warmly thank all members of our Selection Panels for the time and expertise they have given to the selection of these exceptional scholars.”

*Full bios and photos of the Scholars-elect are available from our Directory page. Picture credit: Jean-Christophe BENOIST and Wikimedia commons.

Latest News

Rethinking feminist approaches to gender-based violence

Ilaria Michelis [2019] was completely surprised when, earlier this year, she was awarded this year’s Journal of Gender Studies Janet Blackman Prize. The Prize celebrates scholarship on international feminist movements and trade unions/women in work.  It was awarded for an article she published the year before in the Journal of Gender Studies based on an issue […]

Scholars scoop three social impact awards

Three Gates Cambridge Scholars have been recognised with awards from the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. The 15 Social Impact Awards in six categories were launched for the first time by Cambridge Hub in 2018-19, to celebrate students who have shown exceptional achievement in, and commitment to, creating positive social change. Since then, […]

Report highlights fatal health risk of climate change in Europe

Climate change is here, in Europe, and it kills. This is the warning of 69 contributors of the 2024 Europe report of the Lancet Countdown, published today in the Lancet Public Health and led by Gates Cambridge Scholar Kim Van Daalen [2018]. Tracking the links between climate change and health across the region, the new […]

Tracing the role of transposable elements in disease

What causes genetic disease? Rebecca Berrens’ research focuses on transposable elements or transposons, pieces of DNA formed as a result of ancient viruses that inserted into our genome. These can damage genes when they are active in the early stages of human development because they are able to move about the genome.  This can result […]