Miss Eliska Zlamalova (2017)
Already as a school student in my hometown, Prague, I was fascinated by the ability of biological sciences to describe and even alter processes creating life itself. Moreover, I volunteered as a horse riding therapist for disabled children and witnessed their families investing hopes into scientific discoveries that could treat their children. This made me realise how powerful science is and motivated me to help others via scientific advancement. During my BSc at the University of Edinburgh I developed an interest in genetics and molecular biology. I was captivated by the speeding progress of this young field. I participated in diverse genetics research projects and spent two semesters at the University of Adelaide in Australia. These experiences enabled me to view the field from several perspectives and appreciate the wide applicability of molecular genetics with potential to impact agriculture, industry and medicine. During my MPhil at the University of Cambridge I studied axonal endoplasmic reticulum and the implications of its defects for the neurodegenerative disease, hereditary spastic paraplegia. I will continue investigating spastic paraplegias for my PhD in Cambridge Institute for Medical Research and hence pursue my long-term interest in neuroscience and human neuropathies. I aim to advance the understanding of spastic paraplegias which would enable their treatment in the future. I am honoured to do so as a member of the Gates Cambridge community.