People

Sean Collins

Sean Collins

  • Alumni
  • United States
  • 2012 PhD Materials Science
  • Trinity College

In 2012, I completed a dual degree program at the University of Michigan in chemistry and piano performance. While at Michigan, I led research in the preparation of nanostructured semiconductor films for solar energy conversion applications. I have also worked on projects developing new processing methods for semiconductor purification. Since graduating, I have worked at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (USA), conducting research on the role of atmospheric aerosols in climate change. I am currently working on my PhD in Materials Science and Metallurgy at Cambridge with a focus on electron microscopy and spectroscopy. By visualizing materials and their properties at length scales approaching individual atoms my work serves to understand fundamental properties of light-matter interactions. These fundamental relationships underpin advances in a variety of technology areas from chemical and biological sensing to information technology applications. Throughout my career, I hope to lead research aimed at understanding the chemistry and physics of materials in climate science and renewable energy.

Honorary Patrons

In 2012, Bill and Melinda Gates generously agreed to become Honorary Patrons of the Gates Cambridge Trust. The Trust is delighted to reinforce a direct link between the Gates Cambridge Scholarships and the Gates family.

Melinda Gates

  • Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates

  • Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Melinda Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with co-chair Bill Gates, she shapes and approves foundation strategies, review results, advocate for the foundation's issues, and help set the overall direction of the organization. They meet with local, national, and international grantees and partners to further the foundation's goal of improving equity in the United States and around the world. They also use many public appearances, including speeches, interviews, and articles, to focus attention on these issues.

Bill Gates

  • Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill Gates

Bill Gates

  • Co-chair and Trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with co-chair Melinda Gates, he shapes and approves grantmaking strategies, advocates for the foundation’s issues, and helps set the overall direction of the organization. Bill and Melinda Gates work together to expand opportunity to the world’s most disadvantaged people by collaborating with grantees and partners. They also participate in national and international events and travel extensively to focus attention on the issues the foundation champions.

Trustees

The Gates Cambridge Board brings together nine distinguished Trustees from a range of backgrounds. Two Trustees are appointed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the others by the University of Cambridge. Trustees meet twice a year to provide strategic direction for the programme.

Professor Stephen Toope OC

  • Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge (Chair)
Professor Stephen Toope OC

Professor Stephen Toope OC

  • Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge (Chair)

On 2 October 2017 Professor Stephen Toope became the 346th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. Professor Toope joined Cambridge after a distinguished career as a scholar and academic leader. He was Director of the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs (2015-2017), and before that President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of British Columbia (2006-2014). He served as President of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation (2002-2006), and as Dean of Law at McGill University (1994-1999). Born in Montreal, Canada (1958), Stephen Toope studied History and Literature at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude (1979), before earning degrees in common law and civil law at McGill University (1983). He is an alumnus of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he completed a Ph.D. under the supervision of Sir Derek Bowett (1987). Professor Toope’s academic interests are in international law, human rights, international legal theory and international development. From 1986 to 1987 he served as Law Clerk to the Rt. Hon. Brian Dickson, Chief Justice of Canada. In 1991, he was Research Director at the Office of the Special Representative concerning the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People (1991). Professor Toope subsequently worked as a consultant to Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the Canadian International Development Agency, and a number of United Nations’ agencies. In 1994 he was a delegate on the UN’s observer mission to the first post-apartheid South African General Election. Between 2004 and 2007 he was Chair and Rapporteur of the UN’s Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances. In 2005 he served as a fact-finder for the Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Government Officials in relation to Maher Arar, a Canadian subjected to rendition from the USA to Syria, where he was tortured. He was Chair of the Board of Universities Canada, and President of Canada’s Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. He is a past Director of the Public Policy Forum, of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and of the Royal Conservatory of Music – from which he received an Honorary Fellowship. Among the distinctions he has received are the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (2012), the United Way of Canada President’s Award of Distinction (2014), various honorary degrees, and the John Read Medal of the Canadian Council of International Law (2015). In recognition of his service and accomplishments, in 2015 he was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada – one of Canada’s highest honours. Stephen Toope is married to speech therapist and musical theatre composer Paula Rosen. They live in Cambridge and have three adult children.

Timothy Harvey-Samuel

  • Bursar of Trinity Hall, Cambridge (Honorary Treasurer)
Timothy Harvey-Samuel

Timothy Harvey-Samuel

  • Bursar of Trinity Hall, Cambridge (Honorary Treasurer)

Tim Harvey-Samuel graduated in English from Queens' in 1987 and has been Bursar of Corpus since September 2013. He also lectures for the Master of Finance programme at the Judge Business School. He spent 26 years in investment banking, mainly at Schroders and Citigroup where he led the Equity Capital Markets business for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Amy K Carter

  • Deputy Director, Family Interest Grants, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Amy K Carter

Amy K Carter

  • Deputy Director, Family Interest Grants, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Amy is the Deputy Director of Family Interest Grants at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington. In this role Amy manages the personal giving of the Gates family. Amy has worked at the Foundation for nearly 20 years, holding various positions including: Program Officer, Global Health (Family Planning & Reproductive Health), Special Program Officer to CEO Patty Stonesifer, and Program Officer for Special Initiatives, US Program. Prior professional experience includes: the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (Population Program); Planned Parenthood Federation of America; and the Echoing Green Foundation. Amy received her BA from Mount Holyoke College (with Honors) and a MPH from Columbia University with a focus on Population and Family Health. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two children.

Professor Mary Sue Coleman

  • Former President, University of Michigan; President of the Association of American Universities
Professor Mary Sue Coleman

Professor Mary Sue Coleman

  • Former President, University of Michigan; President of the Association of American Universities

Mary Sue Coleman has led the University of Michigan since being appointed its 13th president in August 2002. As president, she has unveiled several major initiatives that will have an impact on future generations of students, the intellectual life of the campus, and society at large. These initiatives include the interdisciplinary richness of the U-M, student residential life, the economic vitality of the state and nation, global engagement, and the value of innovation and creativity. Time magazine has named her one of the nation’s “10 best college presidents.” President Coleman is a recognized higher education leader at the national level. President Obama selected her as one of six university presidents to help launch the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a national effort bringing together industry, universities and the federal government. And in 2010, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke named her co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Under President Coleman’s leadership, the University has launched and expanded academic partnerships with universities in China, Ghana, South Africa and Brazil. She also announced a groundbreaking partnership between the University and Google, which will enable the public to search the text of the University’s 7-million-volume library and will open the way to universal access and the preservation of recorded human knowledge. Dr. Coleman led “The Michigan Difference,” a campaign to raise $2.5 billion for the future of the institution. At its conclusion in December 2008, the campaign finale stood at $3.2 billion – the most ever raised by a public university. She is regarded as a national spokesperson on the educational value of diverse perspectives in the classroom. Her extensive leadership positions in higher education have included membership on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Board of Directors and the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. She is the immediate past chair of the Association of America

Dr Mimi Gates

  • Former Director of the Seattle Art Museum and Yale University Art Gallery
Dr Mimi Gates

Dr Mimi Gates

  • Former Director of the Seattle Art Museum and Yale University Art Gallery

Mimi Gardner Gates was director of the Seattle Art Museum for fifteen years and is now director emerita, overseeing the Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas. Previously, she spent nineteen years at Yale University Art Gallery, the last seven-and-a-half of those years as director. She is a fellow of the Yale Corporation; Chairman of the Dunhuang Foundation; Chairman of the Blakemore Foundation; a trustee of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum; a trustee of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, and serves on the boards of the Yale University Art Gallery, the Northwest African American Museum, the Terra Foundation and Copper Canyon Press. Dr. Gates formerly chaired the National Indemnity Program at the National Endowment for the Arts and served on the Getty Leadership Institute Advisory Committee.

Dr Julia Li

  • David Rockefeller Fellow, Trilateral Commission; UK-China AMR Research and Innovation Collaboration Advisory Panel; Gates Cambridge Alumna
Dr Julia Li

Dr Julia Li

  • David Rockefeller Fellow, Trilateral Commission; UK-China AMR Research and Innovation Collaboration Advisory Panel; Gates Cambridge Alumna

Julia completed a PhD Technology Management in 2012, which focussed on innovative financing solutions for global health. Before coming to Cambridge, Julia trained as a Chartered Accountant and undertook projects for a variety of organisations including GAVI and WHO. During her time in Cambridge, Julia co-founded the African Innovation Prize, served on the University Council, and initiated and convened the Cambridge Global Health Commercialization and Funding Roundtable. Following her PhD, Julia was appointed Director of the $108m Global Health Investment Fund – a social impact investment fund designed to provide financing to advance the development of drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other interventions against diseases that disproportionately burden low-income countries. She is currently SVP at Seven Bridges Genomics which builds SaaS software systems to help researchers analyze bioinformatic data - from millions of genomes to phenotypic and patient outcome data.

Dame Barbara Stocking DBE

  • President, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge; former Chief Executive of Oxfam GB
Dame Barbara Stocking DBE

Dame Barbara Stocking DBE

  • President, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge; former Chief Executive of Oxfam GB

Dame Barbara Stocking became the 5th President of Murray Edwards College, founded as New Hall, in July 2013. In March 2015, she was appointed Chair of the Independent Panel of Experts to assess WHO’s response in the Ebola outbreak. The Final Report was published in July 2015. Prior to taking up her post at Murray Edwards College, Barbara was Chief Executive of Oxfam GB from May 2001 until February 2013. During this time she led major humanitarian responses. On campaigning, Barbara led Oxfam's work on Make Poverty History, and more recently their work on climate change and the current Grow campaign on food justice in a resource constrained world. Barbara regularly spoke at major global meetings. Previously a member of the top management team of the National Health Service, in her eight years with the NHS Barbara worked as regional director for the South East of England, and then as the founding Director of the NHS Modernisation Agency. Barbara is married and has two sons. She was awarded a CBE for health services in 2000 and a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) for humanitarian services in the 2008.

Dame Sally Davies GCB, DBE, FRS, FMedSci

  • Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, UK Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance and former Chief Medical Officer for England
Dame Sally Davies  GCB, DBE, FRS, FMedSci

Dame Sally Davies GCB, DBE, FRS, FMedSci

  • Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, UK Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance and former Chief Medical Officer for England

Dame Sally Davies was installed as the 40th Master of Trinity College on 8 October 2019. She joined the College after a distinguished career as a clinical academic and public servant. Dame Sally graduated from Manchester Medical School in 1972 and became a Consultant Haematologist specialising in sickle cell disease. In 1997 she was appointed as Honorary Professor of Haemoglobinopathies at Imperial College. Dame Sally was the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Health from 2004-2016. In 2006 she founded the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and was the Inaugural Director. In 2013 she established and became a Non-Executive Director of Genomics England Ltd (GEL) which sequenced 100,000 whole genomes of NHS patients. Dame Sally was the Chief Medical Officer for England and Senior Medical Advisor to the UK Government from 2011-2019. She authorised 11 independent annual reports and 3 special reports: Medical Cannabis, Screen Times for Children and Obesity in Childhood. She has become a leading figure in global health including serving as a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board 2014-2016 and as co-convener of the United Nations Inter-Agency Co-ordination Group (IACG) on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) reporting in 2019. She has championed the need to address AMR across all sections: human and animal health, agriculture and environment within the UN family and globally. In 2019 Dame Sally was appointed as the UK Government’s Special Envoy for Global AMR. Dame Sally received her DBE in 2009. She was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014 and a member of the National Academy of Medicine, USA in 2015. She has been awarded more than 30 honorary doctorate degrees.

Professor Bhaskar Vira

  • Professor of Political Economy and Head of Department, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge; Fellow and Graduate Tutor at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.
Professor Bhaskar Vira

Professor Bhaskar Vira

  • Professor of Political Economy and Head of Department, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge; Fellow and Graduate Tutor at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

Bhaskar Vira is Professor of Political Economy, and Head of Department, at the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow and Graduate Tutor at Fitzwilliam College. He is also the Founding Director of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute and a Trustee of Fauna & Flora International. Professor Vira’s research focuses on the changing political economy of environment and development, especially in South Asia. He is trained as an economist, but now engages across the critical social sciences and their interface with the biological and environmental natural sciences. He is committed to public engagement and has contributed to science-policy dialogues and impact-related research in India as well as globally. In 2018, he was honoured with the Royal Geographical Society’s Busk Medal, in recognition of his contributions to interdisciplinary research on environment and development. Professor Vira lives in Cambridge with his wife Shiraz (Trinity, 1988) and his two children and dog.

Staff

A small team, headed by the Provost, is responsible for managing the Gates Cambridge Scholarships programme.

Professor Barry Everitt FRS FMedSci ScD

  • Provost
  • Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Cambridge; President of the Society for Neuroscience.
Professor Barry Everitt FRS FMedSci ScD

Professor Barry Everitt FRS FMedSci ScD

  • Provost
  • Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience, University of Cambridge; President of the Society for Neuroscience.

Barry Everitt graduated from the University of Hull with a B.Sc. in Zoology in 1967. He gained his Ph.D. in behavioural neuroendocrinology from the University of Birmingham in 1970. Following postdoctoral neuroscience research as a Medical Research Council Fellow at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, he joined the Department of Anatomy in the University of Cambridge as a lecturer in 1974 and was appointed Reader in Neuroscience in 1991. He moved to the Department of Experimental Psychology (now Psychology) in Cambridge in 1994 and was appointed Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience in 1997. He was the Master of Downing College from 2003-2013, having been a Fellow since 1976 and was appointed Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust in 2013. Professor Everitt is a Fellow of the Royal Society (2007), a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2008) and a Member of EMBO (2014). He has received honorary D.Sc. degrees from both his almae matres (Hull University in 2009; Birmingham University in 2010) and an honorary MD from the Karolinska Instituet. Among many awards, he was the recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award (2011), the European Behavioural Pharmacological Society Distinguished Achievement Award (2011), the British Association for Psychopharmacology Lifetime Achievement Award (2012) and the Fondation Ipsen Neuonal Plasticity Prize (2014). He has been the President of the British Association for Psychopharmacology (1992-4), the European Brain and Behaviour Society (1998-2000) and the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society (2003-5) and will be President of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies 2016-2018. He was a member of the MRC Neurosciences and Mental Health Board (1999-2003) and a Scientific Counsellor for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Washington DC, 2002-6). He is currently a member of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (Brain Science), an independent think-tank on drugs of abuse. He was Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Neuroscience from1997-2008 and has been a Reviewing Editor for the journal Science since 2005. His research is concerned with understanding the neural mechanisms of motivation, reward, learning and memory, especially in the context of drug addiction. He has published over 400 scientific papers and is one of the world’s 50 most highly cited neuroscience researchers, with an h-Index of 105.

Dr Jade Tran

  • Director of Finance
Dr Jade Tran

Dr Jade Tran

  • Director of Finance

Jade is the Director of Finance at Gates Cambridge. She is responsible for the Trust’s financial and investment functions and is part of the Trust’s senior management team. Prior to joining the Trust, she served as Finance Manager for Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, having previously been Finance Business Partner at the British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council. Jade is a chartered accountant and holds a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Cambridge.

Jim Smith

  • Programme Director
  • Senior Member of Wolfson College, Cambridge; Trustee, Jimmy's Cambridge
Jim Smith

Jim Smith

  • Programme Director
  • Senior Member of Wolfson College, Cambridge; Trustee, Jimmy's Cambridge

Born in Cambridge, Jim was educated at Parkside School and Hills Road Sixth Form College; he gained a First Class Honours degree in Politics from the University of Newcastle in 1999. Upon graduation he took up a position at what is now the Cambridge Commonwealth, European & International Trust working with a range of NGOs, governments, multinational companies and individuals to fund outstanding international students at Cambridge. In 2002 he was awarded a prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship for postgraduate study in Australia, but instead took up the opportunity to become a professional musician. Jim was appointed Executive Officer of the Gates Cambridge Trust in 2005 and then it’s Programme Director in 2013 - a role which forms part of the senior management of the Trust. As Programme Director, Jim works closely with the Provost and Director of Finance to determine and implement policy across all areas of the programme. He manages the programme team and sits on the Social Sciences interview panel to select Gates Cambridge Scholars. Jim is privileged to be a Senior Member of Wolfson College, Cambridge and a Trustee and Company Director of homeless charity Jimmy's Cambridge. Jim is still active musically and is involved in numerous projects and hosts regular live music nights in Cambridge.

Dr Regina Sachers

Dr Regina Sachers

  • Secretary

Head of the Registrary's Office. Further details: https://www.staff.admin.cam.ac.uk/general-news/dr-regina-sachers-appointed-head-of-the-registrarys-office

Luisa Clarke

  • Programme Manager
Luisa Clarke

Luisa Clarke

  • Programme Manager

Luisa joined Gates Cambridge in October 2015, having previously worked at Cambridge Judge Business School. She brings considerable student recruitment and admissions experience to the team. A graduate of Cardiff University, where she read European Studies, in her spare time Luisa enjoys reading, travel and is currently training for her first 10km run. She looks forward to working with the diverse Gates Cambridge community.

Dr Carlos Podadera

  • Programme Officer
Dr Carlos Podadera

Dr Carlos Podadera

  • Programme Officer

Carlos joined Gates Cambridge in February 2019 after a nine year stint at the International Programmes Department of Pembroke College, Cambridge University, where he was the Senior Coordinator of the Pembroke-King’s Programme and the Tutor of a group of Spring Semester Programme students. In parallel to that he obtained his PhD on Gothic narrative conventions and Spanish literature of the fin de siècle in Anglia Ruskin University in 2018. In his spare time he enjoys reading crime fiction and he is a big fan of Ian Rankin’s John Rebus novels.

Celine Ophelders

  • Alumni & Events Officer
Celine Ophelders

Celine Ophelders

  • Alumni & Events Officer

Usha Virdee

  • Accounts Officer
Usha Virdee

Usha Virdee

  • Accounts Officer

Usha Virdee joined the Gates Cambridge Trust in March 2009 and holds the position of Accounts Officer. Previously she worked as an Accounts Administrator for Magdalene College. Usha studied Pharmacology at university. She enjoys travelling and visiting many different countries.

Mandy Garner

  • Communications Officer
Mandy Garner

Mandy Garner

  • Communications Officer

As well as working as Gates Cambridge's Communuciations Officer one and half days a week, Mandy works on the Festival of Ideas and the Cambridge Series at the Hay Festival, organising debates and publicising events. Mandy’s background is in education and health journalism. She was features editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement and also worked for the BBC as a senior broadcast journalist as well as for the writers' association International PEN as a researcher on freedom of expression issues.

Scholars' Council

The Scholars’ Council is funded by the Trust and supports the aims of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship to create a network of responsible global leaders. Drawing on the experiences and aspirations of the entire Gates Cambridge Community, the Council strives to enrich the academic, social and professional lives of all Scholars.

Miss Andrea Kusec

  • President
  • The President/Chair of the Scholars' Council oversees its activities and liaises with the Trust on behalf of Scholars. Contact the President at president@gatescouncil.org
Miss Andrea Kusec

Miss Andrea Kusec

  • President
  • The President/Chair of the Scholars' Council oversees its activities and liaises with the Trust on behalf of Scholars. Contact the President at president@gatescouncil.org

I became interested in the brain and mind when I was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 13. I pursued a BA in Psychology at Ryerson University, where I became interested in the development and treatment of cognitive biases in mood disorders. While volunteering on the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Unit of Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, I developed an interest in designing treatments for cognitive and emotional difficulties in individuals with an ABI that account for their unique impairments. To further my knowledge of ABI, I obtained an MSc in Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University. Many people with an ABI have symptoms of depression, but available methods of treating mood disorders such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy fall short because they rely heavily on domains often compromised in ABI, such as mental flexibility, comprehension, and memory. As a student in the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, I will investigate whether depression in ABI can be treated by increasing engagement in positive activities, and whether this treatment can be enhanced through cognitive training to facilitate planning and engagement in such activities. If effective, this research could immediately influence rehabilitation services worldwide.

Previous Education

Ryerson University
McMaster University

Miss Nora Martin

  • Vice-President
  • The Vice President/Secretary works with the President to coordinate Council activities and to liaise with the Trust. Contact vice-president@gatescouncil.org
Miss Nora Martin

Miss Nora Martin

  • Vice-President
  • The Vice President/Secretary works with the President to coordinate Council activities and to liaise with the Trust. Contact vice-president@gatescouncil.org

As an undergraduate in Physics at the University of Oxford, I became fascinated with applying physical, mathematical and computational methods to biology. One area, where these have already had a big impact, is in our understanding of evolution, and my current research is on modelling evolution in Professor Ard Louis’ group in Oxford, where the focus is on studying genotype-phenotype maps as these allow us to model both variation and selection. Last summer, I analysed the properties of the genotype-phenotype map of the model system of biomorphs and I am currently working on the causes and effects of bursts in the production of alternative phenotypes. At Cambridge, I will join Dr Sebastian Ahnert’s group and I am excited about exploring characteristics of new genotype-phenotype maps and their implications for evolutionary dynamics. My goal is to pursue a career in research because I have enjoyed the process of answering open-ended questions in my research projects over the last two years: I have gained insights into experimental work in atomic physics, data analysis in astronomy, and computational work in biological physics, not only in the UK, but also as a Hoffleit Scholar at Yale University in the US and at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. Outside of research and academics, I have taught lessons about environmental issues at a school in Oxford and have organised and run weekly physics talks and classes as president of the Oxford University Physics Society.

Previous Education

University of Oxford

Miss Gabrielle Mills

  • Treasurer
  • Contact the Treasurer at treasurer@gatescouncil.org
Miss Gabrielle Mills

Miss Gabrielle Mills

  • Treasurer
  • Contact the Treasurer at treasurer@gatescouncil.org

From a young age, I expressed a keen interest in the issues surrounding infectious diseases and global epidemics. As a Biomedical Engineering student at Arizona State University, my interest in epidemiology and its engineering applications were further developed and contextualized by an additional minor in Global Health and a research internship at the Translational Genomics Research Institute. During the course of my PhD in Chemical Engineering at Cambridge, I aspire to develop novel diagnostics for C. difficile, the deadliest superbug in the United States, and C. perfringens, the second leading cause of food poisoning. With C. difficile, there is a direct correlation between mortality and the timing and choice of initial treatment. With the invention of an immediate diagnostic that detects the level of infection, mortality rates may be reduced across global communities.I seek to be a leader in the worldwide pursuit to alleviate the burden of disease on developing populations by delivering technologies that are simple, inexpensive, and—above all else—feasible in their applicable environments. I am grateful to be joining the Gates Cambridge Community and for the opportunity to network with some of the greatest intellects of our generation with the united goal of improving the human condition.

Previous Education

Arizona State University BS in Engineering Biomedical Engineering 2019

Ms Dorien Braam

  • Alumni Officer
  • The Alumni Officer works closely with the Gates Cambridge Alumni Association to connect the Scholar and Alumni communities.
Ms Dorien Braam

Ms Dorien Braam

  • Alumni Officer
  • The Alumni Officer works closely with the Gates Cambridge Alumni Association to connect the Scholar and Alumni communities.

Having worked in a variety of roles across Asia and eastern Africa with the UN, INGO's and government focusing on disaster displacement, human rights and shelter, I returned to academia via a MSc in International Animal Health at the University of Edinburgh. My thesis research on ‘Animal health programming in humanitarian and development assistance in Somalia’ showed the gaps and need for high quality research and critical assessment to improve the evidence base for policy and program development. For my PhD in Veterinary Medicine I will study the prevalence of zoonoses - diseases transmitted between animals and humans - in displaced populations, addressing some of the most pressing global challenges of the next decade: climate change, displacement and emerging infectious diseases. Disease transmission between wildlife and livestock, the increased risk of zoonoses in areas where people and animals with weakened immune systems live closely together, and the emergence of infectious diseases among naive host communities are areas that need to be increasingly researched. Gaining a better understanding of disease prevalence and dynamics, control and prevention will improve the well-being of both humans and animals, with the aim to influence and improve institutional responses. I am incredibly honored that I can pursue this important field of study at the University of Cambridge with the support of the Gates Scholarship, and look forward to becoming a part of the community.

Previous Education

Technische Universiteit Delft
The University of Edinburgh

Miss Reetika Subramanian

  • Editor-in-Chief of The Scholar magazine
  • The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the production of the annual The Scholar magazine. Email: eic@gatescouncil.org
Miss Reetika Subramanian

Miss Reetika Subramanian

  • Editor-in-Chief of The Scholar magazine
  • The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the production of the annual The Scholar magazine. Email: eic@gatescouncil.org

Early marriage and bridal trafficking in Rajasthan, sexual violence in Mumbai, female circumcision among Dawoodi Bohras: my experiences as a journalist and researcher have exposed me to diverse geographies, socio-economic realities and cultural prejudices that young women across India face. Home, however, is the place where I first found my bearings. As a survivor of domestic violence, my feminism got defined by my mother's everyday negotiations within the structures that cultivate and normalise the culture of silence. It drove me to challenge patriarchal notions of leadership and become sensitive to differences. Gender became a way of seeing the world. Backed by my rich field insights, multimedia skills and a feminist consciousness, I am excited to return to Cambridge to pursue my PhD as a Gates Cambridge scholar. My study straddles the areas of climate justice and gender equality. In India's historically drought-prone and caste-ridden Marathwada region, I seek to combine a multi-sited feminist ethnography with an informed interpretation of oral folk poetry, to understand the historical compulsions, lived experiences and gendered labour burdens of Dalit and Adivasi girls in a climate crisis. My fundamental interest in pursuing the project stems from my yearning to reconcile collaborative storytelling with pressing marginalised realities.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge Multi-disciplinary Gender Stud 2017
Tata Institute of Social Sciences Media and Cultural Studies 2015

Mr Shahriar (Shawn) Zamani

  • Deputy Editor-in-Chief of The Scholar magazine
  • The DEIC supports the EIC in the production of The Scholar magazine. Email: deic@gatescouncil.org
Mr Shahriar (Shawn) Zamani

Mr Shahriar (Shawn) Zamani

  • Deputy Editor-in-Chief of The Scholar magazine
  • The DEIC supports the EIC in the production of The Scholar magazine. Email: deic@gatescouncil.org

Previous Education

University of South Florida Bachelor of Science in Public Health 2018
Hillsborough Community College Associate of Arts in Chemistry 2016

Mr Grant Simpson

  • Assistant Editor of the Scholar
  • The Assistant Editor is part of a three person team which produces The Scholar magazine. Email: ae@gatescouncil.org
Mr Grant Simpson

Mr Grant Simpson

  • Assistant Editor of the Scholar
  • The Assistant Editor is part of a three person team which produces The Scholar magazine. Email: ae@gatescouncil.org

I graduated from the University of Florida with highest honours and the equivalent of class valedictorian. There, I completed my B.S. degree double majoring in Chemistry and Cognitive/Behavioral Neuroscience with a minor in Philosophy. My previous research involvements have varied widely, ranging from healthcare disparities to behavioral neuroscience to stem cell biology to synthetic chemistry and pharmacology. I ultimately gravitated towards chemistry because I saw the unique power chemists possess to develop novel therapies and therefore profoundly improve an indefinite number of lives. Under the auspices of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, I will be reading for an MPhil in Chemistry at Christ’s College, working in the Gonçalo Bernardes research group with the aim of developing new, more selective cancer therapeutics. In this project, we have chosen a bold and innovative approach of using quadruple helical DNA structures as platforms to hold both cancer-targeting antibodies and cancer-cell-killing drugs. Further, I will develop synthetic methods to chemically link these different classes of biomolecules (i.e., DNA and protein). With these novel and beautiful structures, we hope to circumvent the poor efficacy and terrible side effects of current, standard-of-care chemotherapy and increase the therapeutic utility of first generation antibody-drug conjugates, with the ultimate goal improving human life and patient outcomes.

Previous Education

University of Florida

Mr Davide Martino

  • Internal Officer
  • The Internal Officer oversees the Scholars' Common Room and organises Internal Symposia each term.
Mr Davide Martino

Mr Davide Martino

  • Internal Officer
  • The Internal Officer oversees the Scholars' Common Room and organises Internal Symposia each term.

As a child, two of my favourite books were a collection of Greek myths, mainly from the Iliad and the Odyssey, and a biography of Alexander the Great; both a love for books and a curiosity for the past have stayed with me since. I was lucky to grow up in Italy first, then in Belgium, and when I made the leap across the Channel to study History at Cambridge I already saw myself as a European citizen. My fascination for the philosophes of the Enlightenment initially lured me towards the eighteenth century, but a combination of chance and opportunity led me to focus on the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries instead. As I researched the history of a Florentine family relocating to South Germany in the midst of the Thirty Years’ War for my Master’s, I found in the past some parallels with my own experience of transnational movement. For my PhD I will cross not just national but also disciplinary boundaries, investigating the uses of hydraulic knowledge and expertise across three early modern cities, Florence, Augsburg, and Amsterdam. Retracing the careers of hydraulic experts responsible for monumental fountains and mundane sewage systems alike, my work will be at the crossroads between the history of science, art history, and environmental history. In particular, I intend to contribute to the field of water history, which has very concrete implications for the present, and for ensuring that we can continue to hold water in shared and sustainable possession with fellow humans.

Previous Education

Birmingham City University Education (Primary) 2019
University of Cambridge Early Modern History 2017
University of Cambridge History 2016

Ms Emma Soneson

  • External Community Officer
  • The External Community Officer promotes scholar involvement in the community. Contact the Officer at external@gatescouncil.org
Ms Emma Soneson

Ms Emma Soneson

  • External Community Officer
  • The External Community Officer promotes scholar involvement in the community. Contact the Officer at external@gatescouncil.org

With undergraduate degrees in Italian and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and past research experience in primate behaviour and orthopaedics, I might seem at first a bit of an unusual candidate for a PhD in Psychiatry. My interests in child and adolescent mental health and appreciation for population approaches to improving health and wellbeing developed through my work at Yale and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. I am particularly interested in understanding the role of schools in mental health promotion and prevention. In 2016-17, I completed my MPhil in Public Health at Cambridge with a research focus on the acceptability of school-based identification of mental health difficulties. For my PhD, I will continue to work with Professor Peter Jones, Dr Emma Howarth, and Professor Mina Fazel (Oxford) on this research as we design, implement, and evaluate different models of school-based identification. By increasing early identification rates, we hope to improve access to care and support for children and young people who are experiencing mental health difficulties and ultimately improve their long-term psychosocial outcomes. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to spend another three years in Cambridge surrounded by inspiring mentors, colleagues, and friends, and am honoured and excited to join the Gates Cambridge community!

Previous Education

Yale University
University of Cambridge

Ms Anna Forringer-Beal

  • Social Officer
  • The Social Officers plan a variety of events in Cambridge and trips further afield throughout the year. Contact the Social Officers at social@gatescouncil.org
Ms Anna Forringer-Beal

Ms Anna Forringer-Beal

  • Social Officer
  • The Social Officers plan a variety of events in Cambridge and trips further afield throughout the year. Contact the Social Officers at social@gatescouncil.org

After seeing firsthand how the law impacted the daily lives of women through the Undocumented Migration Project or on the National Human Trafficking Hotline, I felt compelled to study the construction of laws and the cultural attitudes which influence them. Through an MPhil in Gender Studies at Cambridge, I was able to explore how stereotypes about immigrants and sex workers impacted data gathering, victim assistance, and ultimately limited the scope of the UK Modern Slavery Act of 2015. I am humbled to be returning to the Gates Scholar’s Community to expand this project through a PhD in Gender Studies. By constructing a genealogy of anti-trafficking law stretching back to the White Slave Panics of the late 1800’s, I aim to show that anti-trafficking laws are currently constrained by xenophobic thought. It is my hope that this work will refocus anti-trafficking policy to human rights and survivor support as the most effective tools in combating trafficking. When not writing about human trafficking, I can be found baking, boxing, or fastidiously reorganizing my to-do lists.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge MPhil Gender Studies 2018
University of Michigan Bachelor of Arts Anthropology 2016

Mr Dhruv Nandamudi

  • Social Officer
  • The Social Officers plan a variety of events in Cambridge and trips further afield throughout the year. Contact the Social Officers at social@gatescouncil.org
Mr Dhruv Nandamudi

Mr Dhruv Nandamudi

  • Social Officer
  • The Social Officers plan a variety of events in Cambridge and trips further afield throughout the year. Contact the Social Officers at social@gatescouncil.org

As an undergraduate researcher at the Yale’s Center for Emotional Intelligence and Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Lab, I grew particularly interested in exploring the impact of psychosocial stress on neurological subsystems. In my capacity as director of the Yale Wellness Project, I helped design and conduct a large-scale study aimed at better understanding the role of stress in student life, and mitigating its more deleterious neural effects through the implementation of targeted interventional efforts. At Cambridge’s MRC CBU, my PhD will focus on exploring the neuroscientific relationship between stress and memory control, or, more broadly, motivated forgetting, through a combination of neuroimaging and molecular paradigms. From a clinical standpoint, memory control as such refers to a cognitive process that involves the active suppression of emotionally valent memories in response to environmental triggers, and thereby constitutes a barrier to negative affective states. This bears particular relevance to mental health science for the clinical treatment of mood and anxiety-related disorders. My goal is to better understand the mechanisms guiding the interaction between stress and motivated forgetting in an effort to inform potential treatment methodologies for psychological disorders by enhancing cognitive emotion regulation. I am profoundly honored to be a part of the Gates Cambridge community, and its network of scholars dedicated to bettering the human condition.

Previous Education

Yale University Bachelor of Science in Psychology 2018

Miss Michelle Ko

  • Technology Officer
  • The Technology Officers are responsible for maintaining the electronic hardware and software in the Scholars' Common Room. Contact the Technology Officers at tech@gatescouncil.org
Miss Michelle Ko

Miss Michelle Ko

  • Technology Officer
  • The Technology Officers are responsible for maintaining the electronic hardware and software in the Scholars' Common Room. Contact the Technology Officers at tech@gatescouncil.org

While growing up next to the library in Cockeysville, Maryland, I came to love stories. After reading hundreds of books, I consider the grandest origin story to be the curious saga of how we developed from a single cell into who we are today. Even more exciting to me is that this remarkable journey still has many questions left unanswered. To explore this further, I am pursuing a degree in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and conducting research in autism spectrum disorder and cortical development in the Arlotta Lab. Through this research and my coursework, I became interested in how the nervous and immune systems communicate with each other in sickness and in health. During my PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, I will explore this theme in Andrew McKenzie’s group and I aim to interpret the dialogue between the nervous system and innate lymphoid cells. I hope that this research of fundamental interactions will empower the field to understand neuro-immune diseases better. I am immensely excited and grateful to join the vibrant and passionate community of Gates Cambridge Scholars.

Previous Education

Harvard University AB Developmental Biology 2019

Ms Anna Guasco

  • Learning for Purpose Co-Director
  • Learning for purpose officers lead and organise a curriculum and series of workshops aimed at skills development for scholars. Contact at learningforpurpose@gatescouncil.org
Ms Anna Guasco

Ms Anna Guasco

  • Learning for Purpose Co-Director
  • Learning for purpose officers lead and organise a curriculum and series of workshops aimed at skills development for scholars. Contact at learningforpurpose@gatescouncil.org

While studying at Carleton College in Minnesota and working as a park ranger at my local national park in coastal California, I found myself drawn to the unexpected connections between storytelling, history, environment, and justice. I centred my undergraduate and postgraduate research around these interdisciplinary interests, obtaining a B.A. in American Studies at Carleton and an M.Sc. in Environment, Culture and Society as an Avangrid Scholar at the University of Edinburgh. In my doctoral research in Geography at the University of Cambridge, I will study geographies, histories, and narratives of grey whale migration and conservation along the North American Pacific Coast. Through this work, I aim to examine how stories affect perceptions of historical encounters and outcomes of contemporary encounters, and to assess how storytelling interacts with issues of justice. In addition, I am passionate about public engagement, access, and accessibility. My interest in public engagement and access has been shaped by professional, academic, and service experiences, including volunteering as an environmental educator and education consultant, organizing Carleton’s first ‘BioBlitz’, serving as a resident assistant and public scholarship fellow at Carleton, supporting a local city council member’s environmental justice advocacy, and conducting independent research on environmental history, ethics, and aesthetics with Channel Islands National Park. As a Gates Cambridge Scholar, I hope to collaborate with other Scholars and Cambridge community members to promote equitable access to research, education, and storytelling.

Previous Education

University of Edinburgh Master of Science Environment, Culture & Society 2017
Carleton College Bachelor of Arts American Studies 2016

Ms Avani Tandon Vieira

  • Learning for Purpose Co-Director
  • Learning for purpose officers lead and organise a curriculum and series of workshops aimed at skills development for scholars. Contact at learningforpurpose@gatescouncil.org
Ms Avani Tandon Vieira

Ms Avani Tandon Vieira

  • Learning for Purpose Co-Director
  • Learning for purpose officers lead and organise a curriculum and series of workshops aimed at skills development for scholars. Contact at learningforpurpose@gatescouncil.org

Over years of studying literature, first as an undergraduate at St. Stephen's College, Delhi and then as a Master's student at the University of Oxford, I have developed an appreciation for the narratives that often go unheard. My work considers independent literary expression in India and turns to the ways in which writing and documentation can transform how we occupy, understand, and move in the world. By looking to minority voices, through scholarship and curatorial work, I hope to bring attention to the politics of artistic practice, building spaces that are are aware both of their potential and their responsibility.

Previous Education

University of Oxford World Literatures in English 2017
University of Delhi English 2016

Mr Minaam Abbas

  • Orientation Co-Director
  • The Orientation officers lead and organise the new Scholar orientation activities. Contact the Orientation Committee at orientation@gatescouncil.org
Mr Minaam Abbas

Mr Minaam Abbas

  • Orientation Co-Director
  • The Orientation officers lead and organise the new Scholar orientation activities. Contact the Orientation Committee at orientation@gatescouncil.org

The diverse and innovative realms of biomedical sciences and healthcare captured my imagination since my days at Karachi Grammar School. As I commenced my medical training at Cambridge, I was astounded by the complex collection of molecular machines and networks that formed an unlikely, harmonious cooperative: the human body. I periodically satiated my curiosity with research projects exploring proteins involved in cancer metastasis and novel prognostic tests for chronic liver disease. At Caltech, I also investigated human neural reference frames in Brain Machine Interfaces. This inspired a Part II in Neuroscience, which gradually revealed the dearth of approved medications for neural tumours. This burning necessity drove me to cofound a cancer therapeutics and drug delivery bio-startup, angioClast, which is developing a sophisticated treatment strategy for vascularised tumours. As an MB/PhD student, I hope to study the cryptic world of RNA and DNA modifications at the Kouzarides Lab. This hitherto unexplored field has groundbreaking implications for future therapeutics. During this program, I also hope to further delve into the fascinating fields of public health and health-tech. These interests were shaped by my forays into public policy for Neglected Tropical Diseases, and a micro-financing social venture featured at the Hult Prize Regional Final. In the future, I wish to discover synergies across the journey from bench to bedside, delivering innovative personalised medicine and effective public health interventions.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge

Ms Aishat Yusuf

  • Orientation Co-Director
  • The Orientation officers lead and organise the new Scholar orientation activities. Contact the Orientation Committee at orientation@gatescouncil.org
Ms Aishat Yusuf

Ms Aishat Yusuf

  • Orientation Co-Director
  • The Orientation officers lead and organise the new Scholar orientation activities. Contact the Orientation Committee at orientation@gatescouncil.org

As a child who frequently visited the hospital, many questions about human health boggled my mind. Indeed, these curiosities lead me to the captivating world of the Medical Sciences. I was born and raised in Ogun State, southwestern Nigeria. In 2016, I obtained a full tuition fee waiver to study Biomedicine in Karolinska Institute, Sweden. I have spent my undergraduate summers carrying out research projects in various labs. My interest in cancer research developed during the later part of my education. With cancer being a global disease and a major cause of mortality worldwide, it is of paramount importance that we strive to speed up diagnosis and improve treatment. My PhD project at the MRC cancer unit involves the identification of candidate biomarkers that could be used in patient risk stratification for oesophageal cancer. It is my hope that by identifying these biomarkers, patients at risk can easily be identified and, therefore, be able to seek medical intervention at a very early stage before the disease progresses. At and beyond Cambridge, I hope to work on projects directed towards positively impacting health and lives of people including my home country, Nigeria and the world at large. I am truly humbled and beyond grateful to be part of such a prestigious international scholarship programme.

Previous Education

Karolinska Institute Biomedical Science 2019

Ms Janine Brandes

  • Communications Officer
  • The Communications Officer is the conduit for assembling and distributing information to and about the Scholar community
Ms Janine Brandes

Ms Janine Brandes

  • Communications Officer
  • The Communications Officer is the conduit for assembling and distributing information to and about the Scholar community

With the average life expectancy increasing worldwide, the prevalence of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease is predicted to double within the next generation. Despite this rising challenge to public health and numerous clinical trials, there is still no cure for this debilitating disease, highlighting the need for better preclinical models and increased translational research. This motivated me to join efforts unravelling the underlying molecular mechanisms of Parkinson’s during my Master’s thesis in Molecular Medicine at the University of Tübingen. To enable my research to bridge the gap from bench to bedside, I subsequently collaborated with AstraZeneca as a research assistant at the University of Oxford where I established a drug screening pipeline on patient derived cells and succeeded in identifying new drug candidates. For my PhD in Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge, I will employ a cellular 3D model of Parkinson’s disease involving human neurons and glia to continue deciphering the mechanisms driving disease in patient brains. I hope that using this clinically relevant disease model will facilitate the translation of preclinical studies into patient treatment. I am deeply honoured to have been selected for a Gates Cambridge scholarship and am looking forward to joining a community of scholars who aspire to use their academic abilities to improve the lives of others.

Previous Education

Eberhard-Karls-Universitat Tubingen Molecular Medicine 2019
Eberhard-Karls-Universitat Tubingen Molecular Medicine 2016
University of Michigan Psychology, Neuroscience 2015

Mr David Rousso

  • Technology Officer
  • The Technology Officers are responsible for maintaining the electronic hardware and software in the Scholars' Common Room. Contact the Technology Officers at tech@gatescouncil.org
Mr David Rousso

Mr David Rousso

  • Technology Officer
  • The Technology Officers are responsible for maintaining the electronic hardware and software in the Scholars' Common Room. Contact the Technology Officers at tech@gatescouncil.org

During my Nanotechnology Engineering degree at the University of Waterloo, I have come to understand the importance of interdisciplinarity. Being taught everything from biochemistry to controls systems, my research background has been broad from photonic metasurfaces and plasmonic biosensors at Harvard to Bose-Einstein condensates at Cambridge, to muon physics at the Paul Scherrer Institute, and program management at Microsoft Japan doing coding work in machine learning. I will be pursuing a PhD in High Energy Physics at the ATLAS collaboration at Cambridge in the hopes of advancing our understanding of the universe beyond the standard model. My hope is that with a new breakthrough we will be able to stem a new blossoming of world-changing technology just like when Planck made his breakthrough 100 years ago. I am incredibly honoured to join the Gates Cambridge community, and as an interdisciplinary at heart, I am excited for the opportunities this community will give to stem new collaborations. Interdisciplinary collaborations with particle physics have yielded incredibly impactful results, from proton therapy for cancer treatment, to cosmic muon tomography for understanding how the Pyramids were built and the effects of global warming with respect to glacier melting. I also seek to address current issues in STEM outreach, such that we may ensure that every child can pursue their passion in spite of their cultural pressures.

Previous Education

University of Waterloo Nanotechnology Engineering 2019
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Exchange 2017

Miss Hafsah Haseeb Siddiqui

  • Outreach Officer
  • The Outreach Officer facilitates the scholar community's engagement with alumni, the wider Cambridge network, the public, and potential new applicants. Contact the Outreach Officer at outreach@gatescouncil.org
Miss Hafsah Haseeb Siddiqui

Miss Hafsah Haseeb Siddiqui

  • Outreach Officer
  • The Outreach Officer facilitates the scholar community's engagement with alumni, the wider Cambridge network, the public, and potential new applicants. Contact the Outreach Officer at outreach@gatescouncil.org

While studying Human Geography and Sociology at the University of Toronto, my professors nurtured my interest in examining social inequality and segregation in urban space. I was inspired to contemplate justice-oriented visions of city building and analyze uneven development and political fragmentation within cities which are more pronounced now than ever. At Cambridge, my research will consider how citizen-led development can be employed as a tool for empowering the urban poor in the context of housing inequality and forced evictions from informal settlements in Pakistan. Specifically, I will investigate how cross-class alliances can enhance marginalized groups’ political claims-making abilities and help them assert their status as legitimate urban citizens. Urban theories and policies are largely based on the experiences of a select few cities in the Global North. In response, my scholarly aim is to highlight diverse Southern urban experiences, which will reveal important socio-political particularities about life in cities of the Global South. By inspiring policymakers and researchers, I hope to achieve a future where cities are not divided or fragmented but rather inclusive spaces of collaboration between residents. I am grateful and excited, and humbled most of all, to be joining a community of students who share a strong commitment to changing the world for the better.

Previous Education

University of Toronto Geography 2019
University of Toronto Human Geography, Sociology, Writing & Rhetoric 2018

Miss Bailey Weatherbee

  • Gates Community Officer
  • The Gates Community Officer is responsible for fostering an inclusive Gates Community. Contact the Gates Community Officer at community@gatescouncil.org
Miss Bailey Weatherbee

Miss Bailey Weatherbee

  • Gates Community Officer
  • The Gates Community Officer is responsible for fostering an inclusive Gates Community. Contact the Gates Community Officer at community@gatescouncil.org

Since childhood, I was always fascinated by developmental biology. I wanted to understand how a single cell could become a complex organism. After matriculating as an Honors Biology student at the University of Delaware, I joined Dr. Salil A. Lachke’s developmental genetics laboratory where I studied the role of RNA-binding protein-mediated post-transcriptional regulation in mammalian ocular lens development. Simultaneously, I explored my passions for education access and science advocacy. Since 2014, I’ve worked with Leading Youth Through Empowerment – a non-profit that offers accelerated coursework to high-achieving at-risk youth. I also participated in the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Advocacy Training Program through which I met with the offices of my senators and representative to advocate for science funding and education.At Cambridge, I will carry out my Ph.D. project in the laboratory of Dr. Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz studying the post-implantation development of human and mouse embryos. Post-implantation stages are referred to as the “black box” of development, and very little is known about these early stages when many pregnancies fail. Recently, Dr. Zernicka-Goetz’s group developed a culture system that opened this “black box” and I look forward to finding what lies within it. I am honored to join the motivated and interdisciplinary Gates Cambridge community.

Previous Education

University of Delaware Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences 2019

Alumni Association

Once Scholars graduate they automatically become members of the Gates Cambridge Alumni Association (GCAA). The GCAA Board, whose work is funded by the Trust, aims to build a global network of alumni dedicated to improving the lives of others, to promote the Gates Cambridge Scholarship and to engage alumni through the exchange of knowledge, academic ideas and professional development.

Devinn Lambert

  • Co-Chair
Devinn Lambert

Devinn Lambert

  • Co-Chair

I am an innovative leader and inquisitive scientist who derives energy from solving problems, communicating science, and growing networks and opportunities. I have excelled at leading multiple organizations and communities, while excelling in my education and research. I am fortunate to have had my dedication to serving the public and understanding of science recognized my multiple national and international awards. In my career, I seek to continue to combine my scientific background with leading projects and helping the public.

Alex Kong

  • Co-Chair
Alex Kong

Alex Kong

  • Co-Chair

Being a Gates Scholar has been one of the defining moments of my life so far, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to remain engaged as Co-Chair of the Gates Cambridge Alumni Association. After earning my MPhil in Pharmacology, I completed my PharmD at the University of Kansas and made a critical decision to switch fields from the pharmaceutical sciences to global health. For two years, I worked at the Access to Medicine Foundation, a global health non-profit based in Amsterdam that assesses the policies, commitments, and actions of some of the largest global pharmaceutical companies in ensuring access to medicine for patients in low- and middle-income countries. My role as the R&D lead on the Access to Medicine Index involved dissecting the pipelines of 20 pharmaceutical companies and challenging companies to ensure that these projects were available as quickly and broadly as possible through systematic and advance access planning during clinical development. This fall, I will begin a PhD program in International Health at Johns Hopkins University with the goal of advancing access to medicine issues related to innovation and honoring the Gates Cambridge commitment to improve the lives of others.

Previous Education

University of Kansas

Megan Sim

  • Treasurer
Megan Sim

Megan Sim

  • Treasurer

I am passionate about helping children in the legal system. My PhD research examined what actually happens when juveniles are interviewed by police officers; in particular, I examined the interrogation techniques used by police officers, and the effectiveness of these techniques at eliciting different responses from the young suspects. Police interrogation tactics are a risk factor for juveniles making false confessions, and juveniles are overrepresented in the sample of proven false confessions. It is thus imperative that researchers focus the special considerations of working with children and teenagers, in order to continually evaluate policies concerning juveniles. My work contributes to the development of safe and accurate methods of interviewing juveniles to ensure that they are appropriately represented in the legal system.

Genevieve Barrons

  • Operations Officer
Genevieve Barrons

Genevieve Barrons

  • Operations Officer

Greg Nance

  • Co-Lead, Global Professional Development
Greg Nance

Greg Nance

  • Co-Lead, Global Professional Development

To showcase challenges in global education access, Greg Nance has run many of the most demanding footraces on the planet, including a 250KM ultramarathon across the Gobi Desert and a 200KM through the Malaysian jungle. He is sponsored by Brooks Running where he writes popular articles on his training, running philosophy and race reflections. In 2016 Greg was named the "12 Ambassador" to the Seattle Seahawks where his ultra running has appeared in TV commercials for Delta Air Lines. Greg is also a social entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to expanding educational opportunities through mentorship. He founded Dyad.com, an online mentorship platform that helps students earn scholarships, while a member of Fitzwilliam College at Cambridge University. PayPal named the company "Asia's Most Promising Startup” in 2015. As a Truman Scholar at UChicago, Greg co-founded Moneythink, an NGO providing inner-city teens with financial capability mentorship to boost college enrollment and success. President Obama named the organization a “Champion of Change” in 2012. In recognition of his work in global education, the Jefferson Awards for Public Service named Greg a "Globe Changer” in 2011. 

Halliki Voolma

  • Co-Lead, Global Professional Development
Halliki Voolma

Halliki Voolma

  • Co-Lead, Global Professional Development

I was born in Tallinn, Estonia, but at the age of ten moved to Hungary with my family and then to the UK for university. I earned my Bachelors, MPhil and a PhD degree at King's College, Cambridge where I was awarded a Gates scholarship for my PhD. My doctoral research at the Department of Politics and International Studies addressed intimate partner violence against women with insecure immigration status in England and Sweden. The study combined survivor and stakeholder interviews with an analysis of theory and national politics. I have also worked with UN Women on the international women, peace and security agenda, and on gender (in)equality research projects as part of a European Commission grant programme and a European Parliament initiative. After finishing my PhD I directed a Health Estonia Foundation spin-off “Action-Metre” - a collective awareness online platform which provides accessible and evidence-based information on the large-scale societal outcomes of individual everyday micro-actions. I am now working at the European Commission on gender equality policy. Dance is one of my life-long passions and at Cambridge I competed with and captained the Cambridge University Dancesport Team.

Elizabeth Dzeng

  • Director of Membership, Europe
Elizabeth Dzeng

Elizabeth Dzeng

  • Director of Membership, Europe

Dr. Dzeng is a sociologist and hospitalist physician conducting research at the nexus of sociology, medical ethics, palliative and end-of-life care, and human-centered design. She is an Assistant Professor at UCSF in the Division of Palliative Medicine and Social and Behavioral Sciences, Sociology program. She is an affiliated faculty member of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and a Senior Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health based at the Global Brain Health Institute at UCSF's Memory and Aging Center. She completed her PhD in Medical Sociology and an MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge at King’s College as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and was a General Internal Medicine post-doctoral clinical research fellow and palliative care research fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. As an undergraduate and engineering graduate student at Stanford, she participated in the first class of Stanford's Biodesign Innovation program where she co-invented and patented a device to non-invasively cool the heart through the esophagus to prevent myocardial damage during a myocardial infarction (US Patent 7,758,623; 2010). In August, 2019 this patent was licensed to Attune Medical.Her current research examines the influence of neoliberalism and specifically the culture and ethical implications of neoliberalism on an institution's ethical priorities in the United States and United Kingdom and its effects on the provision of non-beneficial high-intensity life-sustaining treatments near the end of life in older adults with dementia and serious illness. This research builds on her doctoral research which explored the influence of institutional cultures and policies on physicians’ ethical beliefs and how that impacts the way they communicate in end of life decision-making conversations. Through a comparative ethnography employing semi-structured in-depth interviews and participant observation, Dr. Dzeng seeks to understanding the macro-, meso-, and micro-sociological factors (and in particular ethical decision-making climate) that contribute to potentially non-beneficial high-intensity care near the end of life. Using this ethnographic data, she will subsequently co-design a systems-level intervention using human-centered design to mitigate the culture of burdensome end-of-life care.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge MPhil in Development Studies 2008
Johns' Hopkins University MPH, Public Health, MD, Medicine 2007
Stanford University BS, Biology, MS, Chemical Engineering 2003

Paul Bergen

  • Communications Officer
Paul Bergen

Paul Bergen

  • Communications Officer

I work as a management consultant with a focus on healthcare, mostly in diabetes and oncology. My work uses analytics and healthcare data from insurers, patients, and doctors ("real world data") to improve clients' marketing and sales strategy and operations.

Sukrit Silas

  • Director of Membership, West Coast North America
Sukrit Silas

Sukrit Silas

  • Director of Membership, West Coast North America

Previous Education

Princeton University Molecular Biology, Applied and Computational Mathematics 2011
University of Oxford Biochemistry 2010

Susanna Goldfinger

  • Director of Membership, Americas East
Susanna Goldfinger

Susanna Goldfinger

  • Director of Membership, Americas East

Previous Education

University of Pennsylvania BA English and Comparative Literature 2001

Songqiao Yao

  • Director of Membership, Asia-Pacific
Songqiao Yao

Songqiao Yao

  • Director of Membership, Asia-Pacific