Miami-bound

  • March 19, 2012
Miami-bound

Shamsher Samra will give the first in a series of talks at the University of Miami.

A Gates alumnus who is working on a community-based violence prevention scheme in the US will be the first speaker at an annual series of talks at the University of Miami on major international fellowship programmes in the UK and Ireland.

Shamsher Samra [2007] will talk about his personal experiences as a Gates scholar at the University of Miami on 16th April.

Shamsher, who majored in biological sciences major at Stanford, did an MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge in 2007 with the support of a Gates Cambridge scholarship.

He applied for the scholarship after realising, following some work in Ghana and India, that to achieve his goal of working in medical care for underserved populations he needed to more fully understand the historical, economic, political and social forces that result in inequity and continuing deaths from preventable diseases.

He says: “It’s hard to overstate how transformative my year as a Gates scholar was. The course work in the Development Studies programme was both rigorous and flexible, allowing me to tailor my studies toward my future goals. My time at Cambridge also provided an opportunity to think critically about how my career plans related to systems that create poverty and inequity.

“Outside of the classroom, being a Gates scholar connected me to an amazing network of individuals who brought inspiring energy from a breadth of fields toward the common goal of promoting social well-being.

“The friendships and conversations born out of this network shaped and continue to add breadth and depth to my own work. It is also just a great group of people and we had a lot of fun ranging from trips around the UK and Europe, to event planning, sports, and just hanging out. The strength of the Gates’ network has allowed for these types of things to continue, even though I am now a few years out from my time at Cambridge.”

After returning to the US, he started medical school at Harvard. He says his experience as a Gates scholar gave him a unique perspective. For instance, during a project working with rural communities in India he was able use his understanding of international water supply policies to publish a paper highlighting how the World Bank’s programme in India was failing to meet the needs of the communities he was working with, resulting in a high prevalence of gastrointestinal illness.

Shamsher is now working on a community based violence prevention initiative run by San Francisco General Hospital. He says he continues to find the knowledge and personal contacts gained from his time at Cambridge “invaluable” in his community organising and policy work.

He adds: “I am planning on pursuing a career that balances global health work with development work and I am sure that my time as a Gates Scholar will continue to serve me well.”

Latest News

Weekend of Research 2021 focuses on major global challenges

Thirteen Gates Cambridge Scholars at the annual Gates Cambridge Weekend of Research last weekend in panel discussions on the environment and migration, global justice and democracy and Artificial Intelligence and technology. The subjects covered ranged from legacies of oppression and revolution in Myanmar to a call to radically scale down gold mining. The event was […]

New app aims to help women through the menopause

A new app which helps women to manage the menopause was soft launched last month in collaboration with Mumsnet. Stella is the first product by Vira Health, a company which was co-founded in 2019 by Gates Cambridge Scholar Rebecca Love. Stella offers women relief from the most common symptoms of menopause, including sleep disturbances, hot […]

A global perspective on gender and health

The middle of a global pandemic may not seem the ideal time to move country with a new baby, but Johanna Riha [2011] took up her new role as a research fellow at the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) in Malaysia during the pandemic and moved to Kuala Lumpur around a […]

Scholars share 2021 Bill Gates Sr. Prize

Two Gates Cambridge Scholars are sharing the 2021 Bill Gates Sr. Prize in recognition of their outstanding research and social leadership. Emma Soneson and Maša Josipović have been selected for the prize which was established by the Gates Cambridge Trustees in June 2012 in recognition of the late Bill Gates Sr.’s role in establishing the […]