“Why do people suffer?” asked a 13-year-old boy with many passports, when he travelled and saw his privilege reflected in the eyes of the world. Born to two statistics professors he was curious about anything besides academia, and so left his Australian physics degree for the adventure of technology startups in China. He wandered to monasteries in Tibet, sat for ten days of silent meditation at the edge of a South African desert, and tried to appreciate all he was born with by working as a data scientist at Airbnb. Then, he became depressed. Emerging on the other side thanks to care and treatment that so few can access, he wondered, “If even I, with all my comforts, feel this pain, perhaps Buddha was right that suffering begins in the mind?” And so I left Silicon Valley for Cambridge to contribute what I can to depression research. Neuroscience is in a golden age, powered by technologies that integrate genetics, drugs, psychology, and data. Yet we are challenged by the brain’s complexity, inconsistency of psychiatric diagnosis, and increase in depression especially among the most disadvantaged. I am grateful for the chance to offer my experiences and skills in helping shed light on these mysteries.
University of Cambridge Neuroscience 2021
National University of Singapore Physics 2013
Australian National University Physics 2013