For many years, I have been fascinated by the physiology of the heart and have strived, through research, to better understand how this amazing organ works. As a member of the Giussani lab at Cambridge, I am studying how adverse conditions in fetal life may alter the development of the fetal heart and predispose it to disease in adulthood. A better understanding of this process will provide insight into the prevention of heart disease. I am fascinated by both this research and its potential applications. Heart disease is rapidly becoming a threat to health worldwide and in the future, I hope to contribute to the development of better, more efficient therapeutics for this devastating disease. Outside the lab, I am looking forward to playing music in Clare College, learning to row and meeting new people.
I recently graduated from the University of California, Davis with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. With the generous help of the Gates Cambridge Trust, I am entering my third year in the four year PhD program in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease at the Institute of Metabolic Science. My PhD project will focus on the molecular basis of the incretin effect. Specifically, I will be using various imaging techniques to analyze the nutrient sensing capabilities of intestinal enteroendocrine cells, as well as the vesicle dynamics of incretin hormones. Hopefully, by understanding the intricacies of stimulus-secretion coupling mechanisms in intestinal enteroendocrine cells we will be closer to harnessing the incretin effect in therapies aimed at improving the glucose tolerance of patients with type 2 diabetes.
The pulse of being in one of the most prestigious seats of learning leaves you in awe. The academic culture is exemplary and I consider it a privilege to be here. I expect my time here to prove to be one of the most remarkable and rewarding experiences.
Most clinical technologies for detecting protein biomarkers are antibody based. As an alternative approach, my research focuses on the development of protein-catalyzed capture agents (PCCs) – compounds that possess the affinities and specificities of antibodies, but also are highly stable on the shelf and in vivo. PCCs are selected for specific binding through synthetic combinatorial peptide library methodologies that make use of the target protein as the catalyst for assembling a multivalent ligand. We are exploiting the small size, low cost, and rapid synthesis of PCCs to monitor biomarkers to detect cancer and other serious diseases.
As a Muslim in post-9/11 America, my loyalties are constantly questioned. The bigotry I have faced demonstrates to me the inequalities still prevalent in the America. All too aware of these, my research at Stanford University focused on bringing rigorous methodologies to questions of politics, race and voting. My thesis examining Islamophobia in America synthesized the lessons of my Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and my minor in Statistics. Subsequently, I served as a data scientist at Civis Analytics where I provided data-driven strategic recommendations and targeting guidance to PACs in the 2016 election. As a Gates Cambridge Scholar, I hope to tie these experiences together to better understand voting. I would like to develop an election-specific, individual-level measure of voter turnout that accurately predicts the likelihood that an individual will cast a ballot. Not only will this research improve our theory of voting, but also better enable political practitioners to identify those citizens who need a push to vote. When organizations transform more non-voters into voters, our elections are more vibrant and our democracy is better off for it.
I came to Cambridge in 2009 to study for the MPhil and then PhD in epidemiology. I hold an MD degree in medicine from Tehran University and prior to attending Cambridge University worked on a GFATM funded Malaria control project at the United Nations Development Programme office in Iran. Upon completion of my studies at Cambridge, I joined UCL and worked on a public health modelling project to forecast the burden of cardiovascular disease, dementia and disability over the next 25 years in the UK and four European countries, to measure the impact of public health policies and interventions on these outcomes. I then joined Imperial College London as Assistant Professor in Epidemiology of Ageing to continue my research on dementia.
I have always been fascinated by everything to do with languages, and this fascination grew during my undergraduate studies in Arabic and Linguistics at School of Oriental and African Studies. As part of my degree, I spent an amazing year in Egypt, which really showed me how many doors learning a new language can open for you. We have so much linguistic diversity in the world, with approximately 7000 different languages, but unfortunately a lot of this diversity might be lost during the next century, as the majority of the world’s languages are endangered. This is not only sad for language enthusiasts like me, but might also be very detrimental to the respective communities. It is normally the most marginalised communities which are in danger of losing their languages, and I want to do my part to rectify this injustice. Doing an MPhil in Cambridge has expanded my knowledge of the different fields of linguistics, and I am now excited to embark on my PhD. My research will focus on Lule Sami, an endangered Uralic language spoken in Northern Norway and Sweden.INTERESTS: Playing ice hockey and football, going cross-country skiing, hiking, singing, dancing, listening to reggae and dancehall, going to the theatre.
I was born in Aba, Nigeria, immigrated to the United States at the age of 2, and have been living in New York City ever since. I was the class of 2012 at Yale University, where I majored in evolutionary biology. I am interested in microbial evolution and medicine and at Yale conducted research examining how phage (viruses that infect bacteria) can be engineered to better kill their hosts. At Cambridge, I will pursue an MPhil in Biochemistry and study phage abortive infection, an altruistic mechanism bacteria employ that protects them from the ravages of phage attack. I plan to obtain more knowledge on the molecular dynamics of phage-host interactions. It is my hope that my work will be applied to the growing research on treating antibiotic resistant infections with phage. After my time at Cambridge, I plan to apply to MD-PhD programs. I hope to build a career as an infectious disease specialist and a scientist committed to developing new treatments for microbial diseases.
During my PhD studies, I plan to develop models for the analysis of monetary policy. I am particularly interested in how uncertainty about the economic outlook affects the performance of monetary policy. I am grateful to the Gates Cambridge Trust for funding my studies.
Yusef Al-Jarani is a Gates Cambridge and Harry S. Truman Scholar. In 2013, he co-founded Phoenix Development Fund, a non-profit organization that provides pro bono business development services to community-minded small businesses in the South Side of Chicago. Yusef received his BA from the University of Chicago in Political Science with Honors, after which he spent a year in the UK studying for his MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge. He is currently pursuing his JD at Yale Law School.
I am a historian of poverty and social exclusion in colonial India, with a focus on South Indian social reform movements between the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. The transnational circulation of Indian reform movements in Southeast Asia and the social history of the Tamil diaspora are related areas of interest. My current book project traces the history of prohibition's introduction in India, positioning the subject at the intersection of provincial and national politics, and global temperance reform. A second project examines the impact of temperance and prohibition movements, as a subset of dietary reform, in late colonial India and Malaya.My work has been published in Modern Asian Studies and the Indian Economic and Social History Review. I currently convene courses in alcohol and drug history and modern Indian history at Hong Kong University.
Growing up a child of immigrants in the heart of Orange County, I was graced with the so-called hyphenated identity of a Muslim-Syrian-American. That hyphen, the moment of mediation between two seemingly disparate things, has served as the foundation for my academic interests and future aspirations. It fuels my passion for intersectional issues as an activist and advocate for educational and environmental justice in South Los Angeles. It has also fostered an intellectual curiosity that lead me to pursue a double major in Human Biology & Society and Comparative Literature at UCLA, where I was able to conduct research on health disparities while exploring the use of quantitative research methods in the Humanities. As a Gates Scholar, I hope to continue this narrative by pursuing an MPhil in the History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine. My proposed research centers on the theme of translation; I situate this not only as a practice but also as a mediative process that has shaped the development and reification of certain historical, linguistic, and cultural legacies in science and medicine. As an aspiring activist and physician-scholar, I ultimately hope to employ this critical framework and the global network of the Gates Cambridge community in the development and practice of a more socially attuned and interdisciplinary medicine.
In the past year I have dedicated the vast majority of my time to my medical school training. I am in the middle of the year of core clinic clerkships and am definitely missing the more carefree days of formal halls and garden parties in Cam. In my, albeit limited, free time I enjoy spending time with my one year old dog, Rupert, and keeping as activities as I can with running, crossfit and hiking.