Ms Kim Van Daalen (2018)
Growing up in the Netherlands, I was always way too curious, asking too many questions to understand the ‘’How’’ and ‘’Why’’ (I had my own little blue microscope when I was 8, telling my family about the bacteria in water). This curiosity only grew stronger during my BSc Biomedical Sciences at Utrecht University, which I combined with a BSc interdisciplinary honours program. At the same time, driven by my values - the right to healthcare, equality, peace and safe and health environment for everyone - I developed a strong passion for Global Health and Climate Change action and dedicated my time to work for international non-profit organisations including: IFMSA, focussing on the improvement of Global Health operating in 127 countries; UAEM; UNFCCC-YOUNGO and other organisations to make and advocate for change. I realised that I could combine this curiosity and passion by studying Global Public Health and started a MPhil Public Health at the University of Cambridge. From here, I am now continuing into a PhD in Public Health & Primary Care. As 80% of premature non-communicable diseases (NCDs) deaths happen in LMICS and local environmental risk factors (e.g. air pollution, water pollution) are increasingly being associated with NCDs, it is critical to develop effective, context specific interventions. Therefore, my PhD will focus on the environmental risk factors for non-communicable disease in developing countries; comparing the urban and rural populations (specifically in South Asia). I am incredibly grateful to become a part of the Gates Community and to be able to dedicate the next years to researching this topic.