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.

Patrons

In 2012, Bill and Melinda Gates generously agreed to become 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 French Gates

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

Melinda French 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 ten 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 Bhaskar Vira

  • Acting Chair of the Board; Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at University of Cambridge; Fellow at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.
Professor Bhaskar Vira

Professor Bhaskar Vira

  • Acting Chair of the Board; Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at University of Cambridge; Fellow at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

Professor Bhaskar Vira, FAcSS, is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, and Professor of Political Economy at the Department of Geography, a Fellow of Fitzwilliam Colleage, and an Honorary Fellow of St John's College. Trained as an economist, Bhaskar's research focuses on the political economy of land-use and landscape level strategies, water use and management, forest management, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services and human well-being, with a specific focus on South Asia. He works with a number of PhD students and early career researchers on his broad interests in the political economy of environment and development, and has collaborations with colleagues in both academic and non-academic institutions in South Asia and around the world. He is currently leading a major initiative on Decent Work and Youth Livelihoods. He has led large scale applied research projects that involve interdisciplinary conversations across the natural and social services, and contributes regularly to policy advisory processes across the science-policy interface.

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 Trinity Hall since March 2020, prior to which he was Bursar of Corpus Christi College for six years. 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

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

Amy K Carter

  • Director, Community Engagement & Family Interest Grants Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Amy is the Director of Community Engagement & 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.

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.

Dr Mimi Gates

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

Dr Mimi Gates

  • Trustee Emerita. 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.

Professor Usha Goswami CBE FRS FBA

  • Professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge. Founding Director of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education.
Professor Usha Goswami CBE FRS FBA

Professor Usha Goswami CBE FRS FBA

  • Professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge. Founding Director of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education.

Usha Goswami CBE FRS FBA is Professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge. She is also founding Director of the Centre for Neuroscience in Education. After training as a primary school teacher, Usha decided to pursue research in child psychology, focusing on reading development and dyslexia. Most recently, she has been studying the neural mechanisms underpinning language encoding. Her research goal is to understand the brain basis of dyslexia and speech and language difficulties, to improve children’s experience of both diagnosis and remediation. She has received a number of awards for her research, including the British Psychology Society’s Spearman Medal and President’s Award and the Norman Geschwind-Rodin Prize for Dyslexia research, Sweden. Her work in developing the new discipline of neuroscience in education was recognised in 2019 by the Yidan Prize for Education Research, the largest international education research prize globally.

Dr Jonathan Holloway

  • President of Rutgers University
Dr Jonathan Holloway

Dr Jonathan Holloway

  • President of Rutgers University

Jonathan Holloway, who was appointed the 21st president of Rutgers in 2020, is an eminent historian specializing in post-emancipation United States history with a focus on social and intellectual history. Dr. Holloway is the author of several books, most recently The Cause of Freedom: A Concise History of African Americans, published last year. Prior to accepting the presidency of Rutgers, Dr. Holloway was provost of Northwestern University from 2017 to 2020 and a member of the faculty of Yale University from 1999 to 2017. At Yale, he served as Dean of Yale College and the Edmund S. Morgan Professor of African American Studies, History, and American Studies. He earned his bachelor’s degree with honors in American studies from Stanford University and a PhD in history from Yale University. Dr. Holloway serves on several boards, including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Gates Cambridge Trust, and the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. He is a Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr Julia Li

  • Co-Founder & CEO, Micrographia Bio; Gates Cambridge Alumna
Dr Julia Li

Dr Julia Li

  • Co-Founder & CEO, Micrographia Bio; Gates Cambridge Alumna

Julia completed a PhD Engineering in 2012, which focused on innovative financing solutions for global health. Stemming from her PhD research at Gates Cambridge, she originated, raised and deployed the world's first $108mm Global Health Investment Fund with Lion's Head Global Partners and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the fund was to provide financing to advance the development of drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other interventions against diseases that disproportionately burden low-income countries. Before coming to Cambridge, Julia qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG's Canadian biotechnology practice 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.

Julia is currently based in London's White City biomedical campus as Co-Founder & CEO of Micrographia Bio, a deeptech bio company focused on applying machine learning to bioimaging to accelerate drug discovery.

Lord Simon Woolley Kt

  • Principal, Homerton College, Cambridge and Crossbencher in the House of Lords
Lord Simon Woolley Kt

Lord Simon Woolley Kt

  • Principal, Homerton College, Cambridge and Crossbencher in the House of Lords

Lord Simon Woolley is the Founding Director of Operation Black Vote, the internationally renowned campaigning NGO which he launched in 1996. OBV works with ethnic minorities in the UK to increase understanding of civic society, participation in Parliament and public life, and to promote equality and human rights. Formerly an Equality and Human Rights Commissioner, in 2018 Lord Woolley was appointed by Prime Minister Theresa May to create and lead the UK Government’s pioneering Race Disparity Unit. The Unit collects, analyses and publishes data on how crime, education and health are affected by ethnicity. Fostered and then adopted as a small child, Lord Woolley grew up on a council estate in Leicester, and left school without A-levels. He later returned to formal study via an access course and gained a BA in Spanish and English Literature at Middlesex University and an MA in Hispanic Studies at Queen Mary University of London. He is passionate about educational access and the importance of recognising and supporting marginalised potential. Lord Woolley has a track record of addressing representational imbalances, transforming institutions, and nurturing individuals. His cross-party and cross-sector work with Operation Black Vote has seen the number of MPs from black and minority ethnic backgrounds rise from 4 to 65 over the past two decades. In collaboration with Magdalen College, Oxford, he has been instrumental in the development of Pathway to Success, a programme designed to equip future BME leaders with the tools and knowledge required for senior leadership. Repeatedly recognised in the Black Powerlist, Lord Woolley is dedicated to promoting opportunity for underrepresented communities and individuals, and to building consensus across political and community lines. Simon Woolley was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2019 and was created a life peer in December of the same year. He sits as a crossbencher in the House of Lords. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Westminster in 2012. He is a regular contributor to newspapers nationally and internationally on topics relating to equality, diversity and social justice.

Officers & Staff

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

Professor Eilis Ferran FBA

  • Provost (Officer)
  • Professor of Company and Securities Law at the University of Cambridge, and the Tom Ivory Professorial Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge
Professor Eilis Ferran FBA

Professor Eilis Ferran FBA

  • Provost (Officer)
  • Professor of Company and Securities Law at the University of Cambridge, and the Tom Ivory Professorial Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge

Professor Eilís Ferran, FBA PhD is Professor of Company and Securities Law at the University of Cambridge, and the Tom Ivory Professorial Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. Eilís has written extensively on UK, EU and international financial regulation, company law and corporate finance law. Her publications include Brexit and Financial Services (Hart Publishing, 2018 (co-authored), The Oxford Handbook of Financial Regulation (OUP, 2015, co-edited) Principles of Corporate Finance Law (OUP, 2014, co-authored) and The Regulatory Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (CUP 2012, co-authored). She has advised UK Parliamentary committees and served as an academic member of the Stakeholder Group of the European Banking Authority. She is a non-executive director of Euroclear SA/NV and is the Chair of its Nominations and Governance Committee. Eilís is a Fellow of the British Academy and an Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple. Between 2012 and 2015 she served as Chair of the Law Faculty. Between 2015 and 2021 she was the University's Pro Vice Chancellor for Institutional and International Relations. In that role, she was the academic strategic lead for staff and for significant international partnerships, led the modernisation of career paths, oversaw the University's response as an employer to COVID-19, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Strategic Partnerships Office.

Dr Jade Tran

  • Director of Finance (Officer)
Dr Jade Tran

Dr Jade Tran

  • Director of Finance (Officer)

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.

Dr Regina Sachers

  • Secretary to the Trustees (Officer)
  • The Secretary to Trustees is an honorary, unremunerated position. Dr Sachers is Director of Governance and Compliance, at the University of Cambridge.
Dr Regina Sachers

Dr Regina Sachers

  • Secretary to the Trustees (Officer)
  • The Secretary to Trustees is an honorary, unremunerated position. Dr Sachers is Director of Governance and Compliance, at the University of Cambridge.

Director of Governance and Compliance, University of Cambridge

Jim Smith

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

Jim Smith

  • Programme Director
  • Senior Member of Wolfson College, Cambridge and Trustee of 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 and manages the Programme team. He has also served 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.

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.

Lucy Allinson

  • Alumni & Events Officer
Lucy Allinson

Lucy Allinson

  • Alumni & Events Officer

Lucy joined the team at Gates in April 2022 after four years at Fitzwilliam College as Sales and Events Coordinator, liaising with students, staff, Fellows and alumni to host a range of academic and social events. Lucy studied Psychology at undergraduate level with an interest in early development, with the final project focusing on consumer behaviour. Hobbies include embroidery and macramé whilst listening to true crime or storytelling podcasts. Lucy also enjoys attending music events and travelling

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.

Ms Anwesha Lahiri

  • 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
Ms Anwesha Lahiri

Ms Anwesha Lahiri

  • 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

Born in a family of doctors in India, I grew up looking at the world through a lens of seasoned physicians battling to save lives in resource-poor settings. While the academic in me developed an insatiable curiosity about the biological mechanisms of diseases, the social activist in me realized that exploring drivers of diseases at a population level is important to solve global health problems. My graduate studies at IIT Bombay and University of Cambridge cemented this understanding; extensive field research and work experience with UNICEF impressed upon me the importance of translating research findings into actionable evidence. My PhD seeks to explore the nutritional, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in South Asians; integrating clinical knowledge, statistics and public health. South Asians, constituting a fourth of the global population, experience a disproportionately high burden of these diseases, aggravated by inequities in biological risk, behavioural factors and access to health services. Through my research I wish to comprehensively examine the importance of modifiable risk factors in mitigating cardiometabolic disease risks in this population and inform country-specific policies and disease prevention strategies.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge Epidemiology 2021
Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay Technology and Development 2019
West Bengal University of Technology Biotechnology 2017

Mr Michael Salka

  • 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
Mr Michael Salka

Mr Michael Salka

  • 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

In the southwest Rocky Mountains, my formative years were spent shaping, and shaped by, non-human nature. My architectural career proceeded to harness environmental forces through the planning, design and construction of communal rainwater catchment pavilions in Rwanda; solar/geo-thermal powered, net-zero energy neighborhoods and mixed-use urban infill projects in the USA; and prototypical, self-sufficient, digitally-fabricated engineered timber homes, greenhouses, public space interventions, and future 'Biocities' in Spain. Presently, my doctoral research investigates how geospatial data can inform nature-based value chains for development which catalyze the sustainable regional economies we’ll need to meet the demand for a worldwide doubling of built floor area by 2060 - while mitigating and adapting to global climate change by advancing carbon neutrality, resource security, biodiversity, and ecologic resilience alongside human health and wellbeing.

Previous Education

Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia Advanced Ecological Buildings 2019
University of Colorado at Boulder Env. Design: Architecture 2014

Links

https://valldaura.net
https://www.instagram.com/mnmnsalka
https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelsalka

Mr Brandon Mercado-Saavedra

  • Contact the Treasurer at treasurer@gatescouncil.org
Mr Brandon Mercado-Saavedra

Mr Brandon Mercado-Saavedra

  • Contact the Treasurer at treasurer@gatescouncil.org

I grew up in Santa Cruz, Bolivia and went to Universidad Autonoma Gabriel Rene Moreno where I received a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry. During my time as an undergrad student, I developed an interest in improving the health system of my country by performing research in those diseases that mostly affect Bolivia. The following year, I became part of a training program in charge of Professor Robert H. Gilman from the Johns Hopkins University, who gave me the opportunity of doing a master degree in Epidemiological research at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia where I studied the development of the most important chronic manifestation of Chagas disease (cardiomyopathy). During my training, I also completed courses in Argentina, Chile, Peru and the United States, which later allowed me to present my work at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). I was also awarded a fellowship in research at the Johns Hopkins University. At Cambridge, I will perform a PhD in Biochemistry studying the interaction of Toxoplasma gondii with the host cell under the supervision of Professor Ross Waller. Besides my academic work, I am interested in youth development for which I have been selected as a Bolivian Youth Ambassador, a program sponsored by the Department of State of the United States

Previous Education

Universidad Peruana Cayetano H Epidemiology and Research 2019
Universidad A Gabriel Rene M. Biochemistry 2017

Ms Mine Koprulu

  • Internal Officer
  • The Internal Officer organises Internal Symposia each term and the Annual Gates Weekend of Research
Ms Mine Koprulu

Ms Mine Koprulu

  • Internal Officer
  • The Internal Officer organises Internal Symposia each term and the Annual Gates Weekend of Research

I am a young geneticist who is ambitious about improving healthcare and stratified medicine. At the age of 16, I attended to United World Colleges of Atlantic, an institute with a mission to use education as a force to unite people, nations and cultures for world peace and sustainable future. While at UWC, academically I became interested in studying disease genetics due to its potential to improve the lives of others. Thus, I studied BSc Human Genetics at UCL, where I developed an interest on the genetic basis of complex diseases. Afterwards, I studied MPhil in Genomic Medicine at Cambridge University as a Gates Scholar. During my master's, I worked at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute under Prof Zeggini's supervision on two complex disease bioinformatics projects where I worked with large datasets including UKBioBank. For my PhD, I will be studying the rare and low-frequency variants underlying diabetes using data from several biological levels under the supervision of Dr Langenberg. I am very intrigued about this project addressing the knowledge gap in complex disease genomics, given its potential to improve healthcare and stratified medicine. I am very excited to be a part of the influential Gates Cambridge community again.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge Genomic Medicine 2018
University College London Human Genetics 2017

Ms Reetika Subramanian

  • Community Officer
  • The Gates Community Officers are responsible for fostering an inclusive Gates Community. Contact the Gates Community Officer at community@gatescouncil.org
Ms Reetika Subramanian

Ms Reetika Subramanian

  • Community Officer
  • The Gates Community Officers are responsible for fostering an inclusive Gates Community. Contact the Gates Community Officer at community@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

Miss Mahlaqua Noor

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

Miss Mahlaqua Noor

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

I want to gain a deeper understanding of how viruses engage with its host (us) and the arsenals we deploy to strike back. I did my undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology at Jacobs University in Germany. Early exposure to research and extensive mentoring from my professors motivated me to pursue both on-campus and international research opportunities. I designed polyelectrolyte microcapsules for T-cell staining at Jacobs University and studied the cytokine-mediated death of intestinal organoids to understand the pathogenesis of Crohn’s disease at NYU. For my thesis, I investigated the role of cathepsin K in the choroid plexus of mice brains. I also worked at a start-up company in Frankfurt conducting cognitive and neuroscience research. Simultaneously, I have explored my passions for science writing, education and health access, and community service. I served as an Assistant Editor in ‘The Journal of Young Investigators’ where I reviewed scientific manuscripts submitted by undergraduate researchers. I also served as the President of ‘Explore Bremen’, a student-initiated outreach club that mentors socio-economic disadvantaged and refugee kids. I am actively involved in science communication through blogging and graphic designing to help science reach a wider audience. At Cambridge, I am working in the lab of Dr. Mark Wills to investigate the modulation of Natural Killer (NK) cell responses by human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). Since HCMV infection can be fatal in immunocompromised patients, therapeutically targeting the viral reservoir via NK cells could have far-reaching clinical implications. I am incredibly honored and excited to be a part of the passionate and dynamic Gates Cambridge community.

Previous Education

Jacobs University Biochemistry and Cell Biology 2019

Ms Tanvi Rao

  • 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 Tanvi Rao

Ms Tanvi Rao

  • 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 studying Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech, I became fascinated with medical imaging during internships and research focused on minimally invasive device design for radiology procedures. In my post-graduate work as a consultant, I sought to create impact through healthcare innovation but realized that subconscious bias in tactical solution design often excludes patients with the greatest need. We witnessed this during the COVID-19 crisis as those unable to access or afford care suffered disproportionately.While innovation is key to society’s well-being and progress, I believe we are also obligated to ensure that it reaches those who need it most. Through my PhD research in radiogenomics, an emerging field that combines medical imaging with genomic data, I seek to develop imaging biomarkers and predictive models for liver cancer. Ultimately, this research aims to improve access to care and reduce the resource burden on health professionals by creating tools that enhance diagnostics, enable remote assessment, and improve precision care for an under-funded yet deadly cancer. My research is supervised by Dr. Evis Sala in the Radiogenomics and Quantitative Imaging Group within the Department of Radiology.

Previous Education

Georgia Institute of Technology Biomedical Engineering 2018

Miss Claire Bunn

  • 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
Miss Claire Bunn

Miss Claire Bunn

  • 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

I was raised in Marion, Arkansas and attended the University of Georgia as a Foundation Fellow and Stamps Scholar to study genetics. I devoted much of my time on campus to researching protein kinases using bioinformatic and biochemical approaches and working as a campus tour guide. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I began researching developmental lung biology at Vanderbilt. I quickly realized my interest at the intersection of developmental and cancer biology and the wide therapeutic potential the field offers. As an aspiring physician-scientist, I also took time to research public health in my home region as a Delta Scholar and wrote for the Boston Congress of Public Health. At Cambridge, I will pursue a PhD in the Department of Physiology, Development, and Neuroscience to functionally assess the cell extrinsic and intrinsic mechanisms controlling human lung airway fate specification. Through this research, I hope to deepen our understanding of fundamental biological processes to guide personalized medical therapies that are accessible to all populations. I am grateful to be joining the Gates Cambridge community and am honored to have been selected for a cohort in which intellectual acumen and compassion are equally valued.

Previous Education

University of Georgia Genetics, Minor in Statistics 2022

Ms Nikita Jha

  • 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
Ms Nikita Jha

Ms Nikita Jha

  • 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

I have always had a fascination for how ‘education’ is designed. But it was an unlikely success story from North India that brought this diffused interest into sharp focus in the form of child-centric education. The story was that of an NGO running non-formal (alternative) schools for children living in slums. Every year, its makeshift schoolrooms would see child labourers become advocates for completion of schooling, the ‘reverse-education’ of illiterate parents through their children, and students outperforming their peers upon entering formal (mainstream) schools. The principle at the heart of this NGO: child-centricity.Across the country are many such scattered initiatives solving globally-prioritised problems of access, retention, and quality that nations have grappled with for decades. Studying similar efforts so as to identify patterns in their success could reveal how schools may be better designed to serve children from low-income families, with the particularities of their needs and circumstances.My PhD research will compare how non-formal and formal schools empower such children, identifying the factors that influence their academic, social, and economic agency. Holding potential solutions to the policy-practice gap in India and wider developing contexts, this research will be a step towards my hope of helping to pave the way to more child-centric, context-sensitive education systems that better serve all by serving those most at risk.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge Education (EGID) 2020
The University of Edinburgh Social Policy (with SPS) 2019

Olin Moctezuma-Burns

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

Olin Moctezuma-Burns

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

My research examines kitchen archives from the early modern period into the digital age in England and Mexico. Melding together past and present, I will bring together the perspectives and practices of families and collaborative authors, dealers, archivists, scholars, and members of the public to inquire into the impulse to create, preserve, and use repositories of informal, everyday knowledge and the losses and silences along the way.

I am currently PI of an Imagining Futures Phase 2 commissioned project that provides the tools and resources for the residents of Sotuta, Yucatan to build a transmedia archive of their foodways. Making the archive in their day-to-day will be a way to experience the present with a consciousness of its ties to the past. It will also be central in bringing out how they can shape the future as they battle predatory food and tourism industries.

Previous Education

University College London Early Modern Studies 2019
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico English Language and lit. 2017

Ms Charikleia Triantafyllidou

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

Ms Charikleia Triantafyllidou

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

The goal of my PhD research is to explore prosody (stress, rhythm, intonation) and socioeconomic status as factors influencing the development of reading abilities, and I am particularly interested in silent reading (implicit prosody). During my undergraduate studies in English Language and Literature at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, I was exposed to aspects of first and second language acquisition, and as an Erasmus+ student at the University of Edinburgh, I became increasingly interested in language processing and psycholinguistics. During my MPhil in Applied Linguistics at Trinity College Dublin, I focused on dyslexia, prosodic processing, and Computer-Assisted Language Learning. By investigating reading abilities among typically developing readers, my aim is to shed light on the role of prosodic processing and production in reading comprehension, to unveil the impact of hidden socioeconomic inequalities on literacy acquisition, and to investigate the extent to which reading difficulties remain undiagnosed. This research will aid in the diagnosis and the development of accommodations for reading difficulties and a more thorough understanding of how these difficulties can go undetected by educators.

Previous Education

University of Dublin Trinity College Applied Linguistics 2020
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki English Language & Literature 2018

Links

https://linktr.ee/ct620
https://www.linkedin.com/in/ct620

Mr Stanley Onyemechalu

  • Gates Community Officer
  • The Gates Community Officers are responsible for fostering an inclusive Gates Community. Contact the Gates Community Officer at community@gatescouncil.org
Mr Stanley Onyemechalu

Mr Stanley Onyemechalu

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

Growing up in south-eastern Nigeria, a recurring phrase among elderly Igbo people in the region is, “before the War…”, followed by narratives of how things used to be and how things could have been. This piqued my interest in cultural heritage and how they are impacted by tragedies and conflicts. During my B.A. at the University of Nigeria, I studied how prolonged interregnal periods in certain Igbo communities, occasioned by succession difficulties after the death of a king, could impact cultural continuity. Now, I will be exploring the destructive and generative impacts of Nigeria’s 30-month Civil war, remembered as the “Biafran War”, on the cultural identity and patrimony of the Igbo people. At Cambridge, my PhD research will focus more explicitly on the complex interaction of conflict and intangible heritage and the dissonances in memorialisation, canonisation, representation and silencing. I hope to further our understanding of the uses of heritage during conflicts and to help post-conflict communities to develop comprehensive approaches to their heritage in order to inform policies for dealing with the legacies of difficult pasts. I am thrilled to belong to the Gates community and I look forward to an impactful partnership.

Previous Education

University of Nigeria Cultural Resources Management 2020
University of Nigeria Archaeology and Tourism 2016

Ms Barbara Neto-Bradley

  • Technology Officer
  • The Technology Officers are responsible for maintaining the electronic hardware and software in the Scholars' Common Room. Email: tech@gatescouncil.org
Ms Barbara Neto-Bradley

Ms Barbara Neto-Bradley

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

I grew up in Portugal, before moving to Vancouver, Canada for university. At the University of British Columbia I discovered a love of plants. I was drawn into research thanks to a work-learn position at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum’s Herbarium, followed by a MSc in Botany. It was here that I learned how to time travel. For shallow timescales, I used natural history specimens to learn about plant responses to climate change. On deeper timescales, I studied the macroevolutionary patterns of plant photosynthesis. In tandem, I served on the board of a student-run food co-operative where I learned about and contributed to a collaborative effort to reduce on-campus food insecurity by facilitating access to nutritious and sustainably grown foods. These experiences have highlighted for me, the interconnectedness of topics surrounding plant ecology, evolution and conservation with food and agriculture. During my PhD I hope to delve into understanding tropical oak species from an interdisciplinary perspective that draws on all of these aspects.

Previous Education

University of British Columbia Botany 2020
University of British Columbia Biology 2018

Mr Juan Rueda Silva

  • Technology Officer
  • The Technology Officers are responsible for maintaining the electronic hardware and software in the Scholars' Common Room. Email: tech@gatescouncil.org
Mr Juan Rueda Silva

Mr Juan Rueda Silva

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

I became passionate about biological systems and epigenetic regulation while I was studying my B.Sc. in Biotechnology Engineering at Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey – Campus Estado de Mexico, but also intricated with the complexities of these systems. I am convinced that they hold the key for treating diseases with clinical unmet needs, as such during my undergraduate program I conducted research related with RNA biology and gene silencing. During my PhD in genetics at Cambridge I will work on conducting research on RNA epigenetics and posttranscriptional gene regulation, as I strongly believe that these areas of research will allow us to gain a better understanding of the functioning of biological systems and to search for potential treatments for diseases, such as Cancer. I am very proud and excited to be a part of the Gates Cambridge Community, a community of scholars who believe in the power of knowledge for transforming societies.

Previous Education

Inst Tecnológico de Monterrey Estado de Mexico Biotechnology Engineering 2020

Ms Zsuzsanna Ihar

  • 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 Zsuzsanna Ihar

Ms Zsuzsanna Ihar

  • 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

Growing up on one of the most fertile river islands in Europe, surrounded by industrial-scale farms and greenhouses, I had the chance to witness the workings of the commercial agro-food sector firsthand. It seems everyone around me was incorporated within the agricultural apparatus in some shape or form. Childhood friends grew imported seedlings in high-tech hothouses; cousins gained employment as seasonal labourers; whilst older relatives regaled stories of unified agricultural cooperatives and lamented the loss of collective farms. Hearing these stories, it soon became apparent that any account of agricultural history or theory entailed noticing material relations and affective encounters - drawing humans, machinery, crops, chemicals, and animal beings into a complex fold. This observation led me to study both plant pathology and immunology in tandem with sociology and cultural studies, granting an intimate view into scientific knowledge production. During my PhD, I hope to examine the biopolitics of historical and contemporary seed banking initiatives, with special emphasis on patent laws and ownership structures surrounding wild landrace varieties. Additionally, I am also interested in anti-capitalist, non-institutional, and insurgent forms of agroscience. I am grateful to be a part of the Gates program and its interdisciplinary community of scholars.

Previous Education

University of Sydney Environmental Sociology 2020
University of Sydney Sociology, Cultural Studies 2017
University of Sydney Faculty Scholars Program 2017

Links

https://www.linkedin.com/in/zsuzsannaihar

Ms Maya Juman

  • 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
Ms Maya Juman

Ms Maya Juman

  • 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

Growing up in New York City and South India, I developed a lifelong appreciation for biodiversity and curiosity about global change. I completed my B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, where I conducted research on South and Southeast Asian mammal biogeography. Upon graduating in 2020, I worked on COVID-19 response at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. My academic and work experiences have led me to explore the human-wildlife interface where viral spillover occurs. I will pursue a PhD in Biology at the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge. My research employs a One Health approach to modeling anthropogenic drivers of zoonotic emergence from bat populations. This work will inform solutions to both biodiversity loss and future pandemics, particularly in regions with threatened habitats, high spillover risk, and limited health infrastructure. I strongly believe in accessible and inclusive science, and will continue prioritizing creative science communication during my PhD. I look forward to collaborating with the Gates Cambridge community to tackle pressing issues at the intersection of public and planetary health.

Previous Education

Yale University Ecology & Evolutionary Biology 2020

Miss Ila Ananya

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

Miss Ila Ananya

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

I came to anthropology through an interest in narrative, and a desire to rethink my engagement with fiction, life writing, reportage, and research – writing forms that I have been moving between since I was an undergraduate. As a journalist and a university teacher, I often found myself returning to read ethnographies, with their focus on producing work that centred our different subjectivities, and grappling with the ethical and conceptual challenges of navigating these. So far, my research has been concerned with the political lives of Indian students, what Indian higher educational spaces engender, and who they exclude. For my PhD, I hope to trace how young people from ‘Northeast’ India navigate the moral and affective aspects of their ‘becoming’ when they travel to ‘mainland’ Indian cities to study. Given the region’s history of state repression, ethnic tensions, and the racialised tendency of many Indians to homogenise their identities, I am interested in foregrounding friendship, intimacy, and aspiration, to understand how these young students relate to each other from across their social subjectivities and ethnic and class locations. I’m excited and humbled to be part of the Gates Cambridge community, and to continue to be challenged by and learn from my peers.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge Social Anthropology 2022
School of Oriental & African Studies (University o Gender Studies 2018
St. Joseph's College, BU English, Journalism,Psychology 2017

Mr Matthew Hoisch

  • Assistant Editor of The Scholar magazine
  • The Assistant Editor is part of the team which produces The Scholar magazine. Email: ae@gatescouncil.org
Mr Matthew Hoisch

Mr Matthew Hoisch

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

I am curious about the ways people understand and create discourses around environmental issues. As an undergraduate—first at Brandeis University, then, after transferring, at Harvard University—I studied environmental challenges and became immersed in the expansive discipline of Science and Technology Studies. Simultaneously, I developed a love of journalism, particularly radio storytelling. In the years following my undergraduate education, I cultivated both of these interests. I worked with Schmidt Futures to understand and support effective philanthropic approaches at the intersection of science, technology, and society. I also worked as a reporter at KOTO, the community radio station in Telluride, CO. Reporting for a small mountain region during a global pandemic gave me firsthand appreciation for the ways journalism can foster community. But I’m also uncertain how journalism can help humanity face larger environmental challenges. As climate change alters our world, I believe unifying and clarifying storytelling will be all the more essential. I hope to use this MPhil in Anthropocene Studies to examine the roles journalists can and should play in helping people understand and respond to climate change.

Previous Education

Harvard University Env. Science & Public Policy 2019
Brandeis University Environmental Studies 2017

Miss Seetha Tan

  • Media Editor of The Scholar magazine
  • The Media Editor is responsible for the maintenance, organisation, and updating of The Scholar website throughout the year and for the annual publication. Email: me@gatescouncil.org
Miss Seetha Tan

Miss Seetha Tan

  • Media Editor of The Scholar magazine
  • The Media Editor is responsible for the maintenance, organisation, and updating of The Scholar website throughout the year and for the annual publication. Email: me@gatescouncil.org

Growing up in Australia in an Indian and Malaysian-Chinese family, I have always been surrounded by diaspora communities, connecting to people and struggles occurring miles away and learning to navigate politics, identity and belonging beyond borders. I want to explore what it means to be a citizen in diasporic contexts by utilising my research to amplify the creative repertoires and acts of solidarity generated in diaspora networks. My research stands in solidarity with diaspora activists and provides space for their voices. It defends and amplifies the political utility of solidarity as a strategy for transnational political action. Building on my MPhil research at the University of Cambridge on solidarity protest movements in the Lebanese diaspora in France, my PhD will investigate citizenship beyond borders. Through creative research methods such as visual, video and music elicitation, this PhD will explore the affective, enacted, legal and resistive forms of citizenship produced by global solidarity networks in the diaspora. I aim to combine my passion for research and my experience with documentary film-making and audio-visual podcasts to produce public-facing, community grounded research output.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge Sociology 2021
Sciences PO, Institut d'etudes politiques de Paris Middle Eastern Studies 2020

Mr Nicholas Goldrosen

  • Orientation Co-Director
  • The Orientation officers organise the new Scholar orientation activities. Contact Orientation at orientation@gatescouncil.org
Mr Nicholas Goldrosen

Mr Nicholas Goldrosen

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

My research uses network analysis and other quantitative methods to study police misconduct and related phenomena. In particular, I am interested in developing methods to identify both misconduct-prone officers and officers who are resilient to negative peer influences. Additionally, my research examines how sanctions for misconduct and other official responses affect future misconduct. My other research interests include progressive prosecution and the intersections of local government law and criminal justice reform.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge Criminological Research 2021
Williams College Political Science and Math 2020

Miss Yasemin Cole

  • Orientation Communications Coordinator
Miss Yasemin Cole

Miss Yasemin Cole

  • Orientation Communications Coordinator

As an undergraduate researcher at UNC at Chapel Hill and NIH, I gained a broad understanding of biological mechanisms underlying disease, especially cancer. My experiences while designing an undergraduate course, research work, and clinical volunteering sparked my interest in genomics and precision medicine. My coursework and clinical experiences during my master's in genomic medicine at Imperial College London demonstrated to me the potential of precision medicine to revolutionize healthcare. As an MD/PhD student, I will study the genomic landscape of paragangliomas, pheochromocytomas, and gastrointestinal stromal tumors at the NIH and the University of Cambridge. Through metabolic, epigenetic, and functional genomic studies, I hope to elucidate the biological underpinnings of these devastating neuroendocrine tumors, leading to advancements in prognostication and treatment. Outside the lab, I will continue my involvement in scientific outreach/education and refugee health. I am honored to be part of the multidisciplinary and collaborative Gates Cambridge community seeking to improve global society. As a future physician-scientist, I aspire to translate scientific advancements into precision medicine diagnostics and therapeutics.

Previous Education

University of North Carolina Medicine 2026
Imperial College London (University of London) Genomic Medicine 2017
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Biology 2016

Mr Henry Taylor

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

Mr Henry Taylor

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

As an undergraduate at Duke University, I developed a keen interest in utilizing computational models to investigate the underlying mechanisms of human disease. I resolved to concentrate my career on connecting biology, mathematics, and computer science, with a focus on applications to human health. Shortly after graduating from Duke with a BSc in Computational Biology, I joined the laboratory of Dr. Francis Collins at the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), where I studied the molecular underpinnings of diabetes using genetic and genomic techniques. While at the NIH, I became acutely aware of the health inequities that persist worldwide, and I pursued training to prepare myself for a career focused on addressing systemic health inequities. During my doctoral training at Cambridge, I plan to combine my interests in human disease and health inequities to study the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes (T2D) across diverse ancestries. It is my hope that my doctoral research will enhance the treatment and prevention of T2D for all people. I am immensely grateful and humbled to join the Gates Cambridge community, and I look forward to learning from the other scholars across diverse disciplines.

Previous Education

Duke University Computational Biology 2018

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.

Halliki Voolma

  • Co-Chair
Halliki Voolma

Halliki Voolma

  • Co-Chair

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.

Sanjana Mehta

  • Co-Chair
Sanjana Mehta

Sanjana Mehta

  • Co-Chair

Sanjana is an Advocacy Director at (ISC)2, the world’s largest education and membership association for cybersecurity practitioners. Sanjana has lived and worked in India, Belgium, U.S. and the U.K. Creating relevant and engaging education products and services for different age groups, sectors and geographies has been a through line in her career. She has designed and led large professional development events, formed partnerships across academia-industry-government ecosystem, built and grown teams, set vision for new products, and established go-to-market strategies. As a Gates Scholar, Sanjana completed an MPhil and a PhD in Education. Sanjana is a life-long learner. In 2020, she completed an Executive MBA from Cranfield University. More recently, she has been exploring the lives and works of different philosophers as part of an online philosophy school.

Previous Education

Bangalore University MSc Psychology 2000
Mount Carmel College, Bangalore BA Psychology, Economics & Sociol. 1998

Links

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sanjana-mehta

Megan Sim

  • Treasurer
Megan Sim

Megan Sim

  • Treasurer

My academic research and career has been driven by my passion for using evidence to improve the lives of others – particularly children and people who are disadvantaged and vulnerable. 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.
Since completing my doctorate in 2014 I have used my research skills to design, lead and conduct evaluations, including of UK and European public policy initiatives at RAND Europe in Cambridge, UK, and more recently of international development projects at the Centre for Evaluation and Development in Mannheim, Germany.

Stephanie Gabriela Lopez-Kessinger

  • Operations & Communications Officer
Stephanie Gabriela Lopez-Kessinger

Stephanie Gabriela Lopez-Kessinger

  • Operations & Communications Officer

Stephanie Gabriela Lopez is the Program Director at LatinasRepresent, an initiative that seeks to increase the number and diversity of Latinas who pursue public service opportunities in the United States. In this role, she oversees and manages strategic planning, development, programming, communications, and coalition work. She is a first-generation Salvadoran-American with experience in international education, children's rights, and immigration advocacy. She earned a Master's degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Cambridge, while on a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, and holds an undergraduate degree in political science and mass communication and journalism from California State University, Fresno.

Kofi Boakye

  • Director of Membership, Africa
Kofi Boakye

Kofi Boakye

  • Director of Membership, Africa

Kofi is an academic, a social entrepreneur and a mentor who is passionate about the development of young people and Africa. He moved to Clare Hall as a Junior Research Fellow after completing his MPhil and PhD at St Edmund’s College. His research takes an interdisciplinary approach to issues of crime and development with particular interest in youth and gender-based violence. Kofi has published widely in high-impact journals in the fields of psychology, law and criminology. He serves on several journal editorial boards. He has been a visiting fellow to universities in the US and Africa, including Cornell University School of Law, State University of New York and University of Ghana. Kofi is the founder of the Oxbridge African Mentorship Programme, a charity that provides mentoring for young talents in Africa. He is also co-founder of the African Institute for Crime, Policy and Governance Research, a think tank based in Ghana that promotes high quality research on crime, justice and governance issues to inform policy in Africa.

Links

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kofi-boakye-0788285

Andrea Cabrero Vilatela

  • Director of Membership, Latin America & the Caribbean
Andrea Cabrero Vilatela

Andrea Cabrero Vilatela

  • Director of Membership, Latin America & the Caribbean

Darja Irdam

  • Director of Membership, Europe
Darja Irdam

Darja Irdam

  • Director of Membership, Europe

At the University of Cambridge, I studied the political economy of health. During my PhD, I studied the link between privatisation policies and increased alcohol-related mortality rates. I have worked in health and healthcare research since I completed my studies because I am passionate about health and healthcare and I believe that we can use our achievements in science and technology to improve people's health all over the world. As a Gates Cambridge alumna, I strive to make people believe they can create change and improve not only their own lives but also the lives of others.

Links

https://www.linkedin.com/in/darja-irdam-b76365158

Yingjie (Amy) Liu

  • Director of Membership, Americas East
Yingjie (Amy) Liu

Yingjie (Amy) Liu

  • Director of Membership, Americas East

Luis Welbanks

  • Director of Membership, Americas West
Luis Welbanks

Luis Welbanks

  • Director of Membership, Americas West

My experience in life taught me not to conform with the stereotypes imposed by those in power. I believe that every person can achieve greatness and should be allowed to fulfill their dreams. Being a Mexican, I see science as the means to take down the walls built by those trying to divide us, empower people to make informed decisions and appreciate that all lives have equal value. My passion for science transformed into a deep curiosity to understand our universe and the conditions that allowed for our existence. My desire to understand the world took me from Mexico to Canada where I became the first person at the University of Calgary to finish two majors in physics and astrophysics in four years. Later, I joined Dr. Rachid Ouyed and his group to study the Quark Nova, its astronomical signatures and implications. Now in Cambridge, I am honoured to join Dr. Nikku Madhusudhan and his group in studying and characterizing the atmospheres of exoplanets. We are as close as we have ever been to understanding our place in the universe and the uniqueness of our existence. The quest for habitable planets thrills me and I believe that this excitement is shared with the rest of humanity. My path to becoming a Gates-Cambridge scholar has not been linear and I owe a large amount of gratitude to every person who believed in me and helped me become who I am. I hope this opportunity will allow me to inspire others to pursue their goals and create scientific opportunities in Latin America.

Previous Education

University of Calgary

Links

https://luiswelbanks.com

Songqiao Yao

  • Director of Membership, Asia-Pacific
Songqiao Yao

Songqiao Yao

  • Director of Membership, Asia-Pacific

Songqiao Yao is the founder and CEO of Wildbound.earth, an innovative nature-inspired education and sustainability consulting venture based in Beijing, China. After her Mphil in Geography from Cambridge as a Gates Scholar, Songqiao went on to study for an MBA as a Skoll Scholar at Oxford Said Business School.

Previous Education

Mount Holyoke College 2007

Links

http://www.wildbound.earth
http://www.linkedin.com/songqiaoyao

Libby Blanchard

  • Director for Global Personal and Professional Development
Libby Blanchard

Libby Blanchard

  • Director for Global Personal and Professional Development

I arrived at Cambridge in 2012 to pursue an MPhil in Environment, Society and Development to learn how best to negotiate environmental pressures when alleviating poverty through economic growth. I am particularly interested in developing policies that address both extreme poverty and biodiversity loss--two of the most critical challenges of our era. In 2013, I received a second Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a PhD that addresses climate change policy and environmental justice, and received my PhD in 2017. Before Cambridge, I worked for six years directing international development and conservation initiatives for a coffee importing company. In this role, I raised over $4 million for livelihood improvement programs, some of which were featured at the Clinton Global Initiative and in National Geographic's Wild Chronicles series.