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Riikka (Pyysalo) Hofmann

  • Alumni
  • 2001
  • Finland
  • 2001 PhD Education
  • Jesus College
Riikka (Pyysalo) Hofmann

Riikka (Pyysalo) Hofmann

  • Alumni
  • 2001
  • Finland
  • 2001 PhD Education
  • Jesus College

Minaam Abbas

  • Scholar
  • 2017
  • Pakistan
  • 2017 PhD Pathology
  • St John's College
Minaam Abbas

Minaam Abbas

  • Scholar
  • 2017
  • Pakistan
  • 2017 PhD Pathology
  • St John's College

The diverse and innovative realms of biomedical sciences and healthcare captured my imagination since my days at Karachi Grammar School. As I commenced my medical training at Cambridge, I was astounded by the complex collection of molecular machines and networks that formed an unlikely, harmonious cooperative: the human body. I periodically satiated my curiosity with research projects exploring proteins involved in cancer metastasis and novel prognostic tests for chronic liver disease. At Caltech, I also investigated human neural reference frames in Brain Machine Interfaces. This inspired a Part II in Neuroscience, which gradually revealed the dearth of approved medications for neural tumours. This burning necessity drove me to cofound a cancer therapeutics and drug delivery bio-startup, angioClast, which is developing a sophisticated treatment strategy for vascularised tumours. As an MB/PhD student, I hope to study the cryptic world of RNA and DNA modifications at the Kouzarides Lab. This hitherto unexplored field has groundbreaking implications for future therapeutics. During this program, I also hope to further delve into the fascinating fields of public health and health-tech. These interests were shaped by my forays into public policy for Neglected Tropical Diseases, and a micro-financing social venture featured at the Hult Prize Regional Final. In the future, I wish to discover synergies across the journey from bench to bedside, delivering innovative personalised medicine and effective public health interventions.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge

Rashad Abbasov

  • Alumni
  • 2002
  • Azerbaijan
  • 2002 PhD International Relations
  • Wolfson College
Rashad Abbasov

Rashad Abbasov

  • Alumni
  • 2002
  • Azerbaijan
  • 2002 PhD International Relations
  • Wolfson College

Jane Abbottsmith

  • Alumni
  • 2012
  • United States
  • 2012 MPhil Theology and Religious Studies
  • Clare College
Jane Abbottsmith

Jane Abbottsmith

  • Alumni
  • 2012
  • United States
  • 2012 MPhil Theology and Religious Studies
  • Clare College

Nouran Abdelfattah

  • Alumni
  • 2013
  • Egypt
  • 2013 MPhil Clinical Science
  • Sidney Sussex College
Nouran Abdelfattah

Nouran Abdelfattah

  • Alumni
  • 2013
  • Egypt
  • 2013 MPhil Clinical Science
  • Sidney Sussex College

Growing up in Cairo, in the midst of the overwhelming inequalities in the healthcare system, I wanted nothing more than to become a practicing physician focused on improving healthcare quality for all. As I became integrated in the science behind the medical field, I was hooked. During my undergraduate studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, I have become fascinated by the field of cancer biology and its vast molecular processes. For my senior thesis at Harvard Medical School, I chose to focus on stem cell biology and cancer using the genetically-tractable zebrafish model of T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Since then, my passion is to understand the molecular underpinnings governing the genesis of tumors and be able to relate my studies in human patients. I am very honored to become part of the Gates community and I hope to one day contribute to the growth of translational research and become a leader in the Oncology field.

Ibrahim Abdou

  • Scholar
  • 2019
  • Egypt
  • 2019 PhD Architecture
  • Darwin College
Ibrahim Abdou

Ibrahim Abdou

  • Scholar
  • 2019
  • Egypt
  • 2019 PhD Architecture
  • Darwin College

As a younger student and architect, the paradox that is Cairo’s Urbanism had me spellbound. Cairo is a thrilling yet frustrating megacity of endless contradictions that malfunctions beautifully. Throughout studying and later teaching Architecture and Urban Design at the German University in Cairo, I derived immense gratification from trying to untangle the complexity of the city. I have been specifically interested in questions of housing, its provision, use and perception. Alongside, I was exposed to on-ground parallel participatory initiatives and urban research offices which tackle urgent issues in the city. Accordingly, I became inspired to passionately explore these issues as an MPhil student at the University of Cambridge. In my PhD, I aim to question the condition of housing vacancy, its differentiated categories, and varied underlying reasons and mechanisms of occurrence. As I continue to be exposed to further research on Cairo within a vibrant network of mentors and colleagues, my thirst for learning keeps increasing with a growing commitment in me to treat my education as a life-long endeavor. Yet, I believe research must be consistently geared to have meaningful impact on people’s lives. I am honored to belong to the Gates community and hope to use the platform to pursue my aspiration of becoming an academically well-grounded individual who is able to critically think, inspire, educate, advocate, mediate and ultimately drive meaningful change.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge Architecture and Urban Studies 2019
German University in Cairo Architecture and Urban Design 2018
German University in Cairo Architecture and Urban Design 2016

Shehu Abdussalam

  • Alumni
  • 2005
  • Nigeria
  • 2005 PhD Mathematics
  • St Edmund's College
Shehu Abdussalam

Shehu Abdussalam

  • Alumni
  • 2005
  • Nigeria
  • 2005 PhD Mathematics
  • St Edmund's College

I enjoy learning new ideas of physics at high energies and want to contribute to our understanding of the secrets of nature. The Gates Cambridge Scholarship has given me an opportunity for tools and experience gathering towards achieving that.

Previous Education

University of Cambridge Part III Mathematics 2005
African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, South Africa PG Mathematical Sciences 2004
Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria B.Sc. Physics 2002

Hisham Abu-Rayya

  • Alumni
  • 2001
  • Israel
  • 2001 PhD Social and Political Science
  • Wolfson College
Hisham Abu-Rayya

Hisham Abu-Rayya

  • Alumni
  • 2001
  • Israel
  • 2001 PhD Social and Political Science
  • Wolfson College

David Abugaber-Bowman

  • Alumni
  • 2014
  • United States
  • 2014 MPhil Theoretical & Applied Linguistics
  • Wolfson College
David Abugaber-Bowman

David Abugaber-Bowman

  • Alumni
  • 2014
  • United States
  • 2014 MPhil Theoretical & Applied Linguistics
  • Wolfson College

I was born in Mexico but moved to Texas as a child. My background in a bilingual household first inspired me to study linguistics at Princeton University. Today I am interested in how new experimental methods such as fMRI, EEG, MEG, and mass online questionnaires allow us to test linguistic theories from the 20th century like never before, and how these can be applied to the field of second language acquisition. The way I see it, an individual language teacher may teach somebody how to fish, but a psycholinguist could one day help ""teach somebody how to teach somebody how to fish."" In this way, I want to help give others access to the same opportunities I had as a speaker of the lingua franca in a linguistically unequal world.

Jascha Achterberg

  • Scholar
  • 2019
  • Germany
  • 2019 PhD Medical Science at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
  • St John's College
Jascha Achterberg

Jascha Achterberg

  • Scholar
  • 2019
  • Germany
  • 2019 PhD Medical Science at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit
  • St John's College

One of the most uniquely human capabilities may be the general ability of dealing with novel situations and complex problems. In my PhD I will explore how this ability, commonly referred to as fluid intelligence, happens in brains and could be implemented in machines.


I have always been interested in understanding the complex systems of everyday life from a quantitative point of view and hence decided to study the psychology of markets when doing my undergraduate in Osnabrück, Germany. It was at that time that I developed a fascination for human decision making and behavioural economics which lead me to join the Policy Research Group at Cambridge’s Department of Psychology. Even though I enjoyed our work there, using behavioural research methods to design evidence based policy interventions, I started to be more interested in the neuronal mechanisms behind human decision making – namely, how do we extract and process complex information in the first place? Therefore, I joined the MRC Cognition and Brain Science Unit towards the end of my undergraduate. Here I remained ever since and explored how one can understand high level phenomena (decision making / intelligence) and their underlying neural code. The two phenomena I am especially interested in are compositional problem solving and rapid one-shot-learning. 


Outside the lab I enjoy making music (being a trumpeter and guitarist myself) as well as long distance running. I also co-founded and serve on the board of organisations fostering sustainable community development in South African townships.

Previous Education

Osnabr Business Psychology 2019

Tovah Ackerman

  • Alumni
  • 2011
  • United States
  • 2011 MPhil Criminology
  • Queens' College
Tovah Ackerman

Tovah Ackerman

  • Alumni
  • 2011
  • United States
  • 2011 MPhil Criminology
  • Queens' College

I am honored to be studying criminology in Cambridge. I am particularly interested in narratives of criminality, particularly the dehumanizing rhetoric used to describe criminals in the U.S., e.g. calling them monsters, scum, beasts, etc. In my experience such language is often followed by espoused support for harsh punishment. I am curious whether a similar narrative of criminality exists in the U.K. and, if so, how such a narrative might relate to a national attitude on criminal punishment. I will be applying this year to PhD programs in the US and eventually would like to teach, research, and stay involved in non-profit prison reform organizations.

Aniko Adam

  • Alumni
  • 2006
  • Hungary
  • 2006 BAaff Law
  • Homerton College
Aniko Adam

Aniko Adam

  • Alumni
  • 2006
  • Hungary
  • 2006 BAaff Law
  • Homerton College

I was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary but moved to Canada to undertake a B.A. in Economics and International Relations. I studied law at Cambridge. I then completed the Legal Practice Course in London and currently work as a solicitor in the Antitrust, Competition and Economic Regulation team at Hogan Lovells International LLP in London.

Previous Education

University of British Columbia BA Economics and International Relations 2006
American International School, Budapest IBO (International Baccalaureate Dip.) 1999
Lycée Français de Budapest, Hungary DALF (Diplome Approfondi de langue Française)

Andra Adams

  • Alumni
  • 2010
  • Canada
  • 2010 PhD Computer Science
  • Emmanuel College
Andra Adams

Andra Adams

  • Alumni
  • 2010
  • Canada
  • 2010 PhD Computer Science
  • Emmanuel College

I'm currently pursuing a PhD in Computer Science in the Emotionally Intelligent Interfaces research group of the Computer Laboratory. My research focuses on applying affective computing and social robotics in an intervention for children with autism spectrum conditions. Specifically, I'm using a highly-realistic robotic head to facilitate emotion recognition from facial expressions. I love travelling and hiking, and am looking forward to another year of exploring the incredible trails in the UK and throughout Europe.

Matthew Adams

  • Alumni
  • 2002
  • United States
  • 2002 MPhil Engineering
  • Pembroke College
Matthew Adams

Matthew Adams

  • Alumni
  • 2002
  • United States
  • 2002 MPhil Engineering
  • Pembroke College

Ryan Adams

  • Alumni
  • 2004
  • United States
  • 2004 PhD Physics
  • St John's College
Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

  • Alumni
  • 2004
  • United States
  • 2004 PhD Physics
  • St John's College

Although I am perfoming my PhD work in the Physics Department at the Cavendish Laboratory, my primary research is in Statistical Machine Learning, a sub-field of Artificial Intelligence. I study the mathematical properties of collections of independent adaptive entities, using Bayesian statistical techniques. I believe that this approach to AI has far-reaching implications both for understanding the brain and for the long-term development of machine intelligence.

Adewale Adebanwi

  • Alumni
  • 2003
  • Nigeria
  • 2003 PhD Social Anthropology
  • Trinity Hall
Adewale Adebanwi

Adewale Adebanwi

  • Alumni
  • 2003
  • Nigeria
  • 2003 PhD Social Anthropology
  • Trinity Hall

As a student of the society, I hope to help in mobilizing the intellectual resources for the creation of a better world.

Wendi Adelson

  • Alumni
  • 2002
  • United States
  • 2002 MPhil International Relations
  • Hughes Hall
Wendi Adelson

Wendi Adelson

  • Alumni
  • 2002
  • United States
  • 2002 MPhil International Relations
  • Hughes Hall

Victoria Adesanya

  • Alumni
  • 2010
  • Nigeria
  • 2009 MPhil Advanced Chemical Engineering Practice
    2010 PhD Engineering
  • Queens' College
Victoria Adesanya

Victoria Adesanya

  • Alumni
  • 2010
  • Nigeria
  • 2009 MPhil Advanced Chemical Engineering Practice
    2010 PhD Engineering
  • Queens' College

I obtained an MPhil in Advanced Chemical Engineering at Cambridge in 20010 and I am currently studying for a PhD in Engineering. The rising global energy demand coupled with the need to reduce carbon emissions call for research, development and commercialisation of low-cost and efficient renewable energy resources. My research is focused on the study and modelling of light conditions in photobioreactors. This is relevant to the optimisation of growth conditions of algae for large scale production of biofuels. After my PhD I hope to work where I can apply my knowledge and skills to the development of clean energy technologies. I hope to work on cutting-edge projects and to gain a chartered engineer status. My long term plan is to be in a position where I can positively influence government policies on energy and the environment.