Mr Brandon Wesley (2016)
Growing up in New Jersey, my fascination with problem-solving and innovation inspired me to study chemical engineering at Villanova University. I graduated Summa Cum Laude with awards for being at the top of my chemical engineering class as well as Villanova's College of Engineering. Engineering aims to elucidate vast systems by developing elegant solutions to scientific problems, and I have directed this ability toward my studies in biology and bioengineering. I became interested in regenerative medicine after being exposed to stem cell-based therapies at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and by working on my undergraduate thesis in gene therapy to analyze how different genetic elements affected the uptake and expression of a plasmid vector in cancer cells. Regenerative medicine has tremendous potential for personalized treatment of a vast array of diseases. For my PhD in Surgery at the University of Cambridge, I will explore stem cell therapies for degenerative diseases, with a focus on correcting and differentiating induced pluripotent stem cells into specialized tissues. I believe in providing modern medicine to people around the world and eliminating prevalent diseases that cause countless deaths each year. I attribute my focus and perseverance to my training in Tae Kwon Do, which I began when I was 6 years old. My martial arts mentors and family members have provided guidance at every step of my journey. I am honored to join the Gates Cambridge community, whose scholars exhibit my same dedication to excellence and desire to see the world become a better place.