Mr Alex Kong (2016)
When I was about six years old, I announced to my parents that I would one day be a scientist, unaware of what a scientist actually did. Growing up in Lawrence, Kansas, a mere seven-minute drive from my future university, I was able to learn just that. At the University of Kansas, my love for the sciences deepened, as did my passions for creative writing, performing a cappella music, and pipetting my way to carpal tunnel syndrome. As an undergraduate and eventual pharmacy student, I was fascinated by bacteria and viruses: intricate biological machines with carefully packaged machinery elegantly built to optimize destruction. This fascination was fueled by research experiences in the pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Kansas as well as Washington University in St. Louis. At Cambridge, I will unite my passions for the pharmaceutical sciences and infectious diseases through the pursuit of an MPhil in Pharmacology with a specific focus on various types of multi-drug transporter proteins responsible for many forms of antibiotic resistance in bacteria today. As antibiotic usage increases in clinical and agrarian settings, society faces a critical tipping point that could lead to generations of antibiotics being rendered ineffective. I am absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to advance our understanding of novel methods to overcome antibiotic resistance as a Gates Scholar and to befriend and interact with those who share the same honor.