As a scholar, my research explored the US and EU's divergent regulatory policies on agricultural biotechnologies and its impact on the trade and regulatory schemes of food scarce regions in Southeast Asia. Prior to Cambridge, I worked in Southeast Asia on rural development projects. I am enormously grateful for having had the opportunity to learn from and become friends with generous, hard-working, and dynamic students from around the world through this scholarship. It's always a pleasure to give back to this community, so please feel free to let me know if I can be of any support to you.
University of Chicago
I’m a biologist with a deep affinity for design. Growing up in Zhengzhou and Los Angeles, both cities plagued by smog, I became keenly concerned about climate change and those who suffer its numerous consequences. As a student of biology at Georgetown University, I’ve witnessed unprecedented melting of the Greenlandic Ice Sheet and studied thriving microbial communities in the extreme cold of Antarctica. In this era of climate urgency, I’m convinced that knowledge of biology can help us build diverse, productive, and resilient human habitats. I bring this conviction to Cambridge, where I will study how people interact with bio-designed technologies, architecture, and landscapes in order to understand how designers, architects, and planners can create truly sustainable — and dignified — cities.
Georgetown University Scientiae Baccalaureus Biology 2017
In 2017, I worked with the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), Srinagar, where I drafted an International Law manual on Enforced Disappearances. Participating in APDP’s engagements with the OHCHR taught me about the potential of international legal institutions. However, the everyday experience of observing a state against a society reinforced the explanatory limits of purely doctrinal legal scholarship. This was a transformative experience. These encounters combined with my time at Jindal Law School and the University of Melbourne have motivated and equipped me to pursue a doctoral project interrogating the historical trajectories of international law through the Indus Waters Treaty, 1960. The Treaty, signed by India, Pakistan and the World Bank, divides access to the waters of the lucrative Indus basin flowing through the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir. Both states claim ownership over Kashmir but neither involved Kashmiri voices while dividing waters crucial to socio-cultural lives in the Valley. This project will reflect my continued political and scholarly commitment to interrogating large historiographical questions by taking the lives and aspirations of ordinary people -Kashmiris- seriously.
I was raised in New Zealand, and studied science at university with the goal of doing research in condensed matter physics. During my time at Cambridge I completed part iii of the mathematics tripos, and exposure to a broad range of research topics led me to pursue a career studying living systems from a physics based perspective. For my doctoral work I am studying microbial growth, and am excited to be a part of the burgeoning field of quantitative biology.
I spent my childhood outdoors, digging up every rock I could find and exploring the mountains of south-eastern Pennsylvania. These experiences grew into a lifelong desire to understand the most basic processes that shape the earth. As an undergraduate, I have conducted research on a variety of related topics, from sea level rise to a more recent gas monitoring study of geothermal features at Yellowstone National Park. As a 2016-18 Hollings Scholar, I interned with a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research team to model seafloor deformation leading up the 2015 eruption of Axial Seamount in the Northeast Pacific. From 2015 through 2018, I have worked to reassess the structure, scale, and environmental impact of the Deccan Traps, an extinct volcanic province in western India. During my PhD I will seek to explain the systematic behaviour of trace metals in active volcanic systems. This model will synthesize existing trace metal emissions data with novel field and laboratory techniques. The aim of this project is to further our understanding of ore body development and the impact of volcanic emissions on human health. This work also has the potential to provide new tools monitoring agencies can use to forecast eruptions. I am incredibly honoured to receive the prestigious Gates Cambridge scholarship, and I look forward to drawing on the diverse perspectives of my fellow scholars as I work to safeguard volcanically-threatened populations.
University of Pennsylvania BAS Int'l Econ & Fin Systems Engineering, BSE Finance Statistics 2002
Growing up in Damascus, Syria, I immigrated to the United States when I was seventeen in September 2015. Completing my senior year at Wheeling High School in the U.S., I enrolled at UIC pursuing a bachelor's degree with a double major in biology and chemistry and minor in mathematics. I was fascinated by the immense potential in developing novel analytical chemical and mathematical tools to solve pressing biomedical problems. Starting my first year of college, I have conducted research on diabetic eye disease while volunteering at an ophthalmology clinic to serve patients of the same life-changing, blindness-causing disease conditions. Through these experiences, I found an articulation of my interests in patient-driven research that considers both the biochemical and socioeconomic lenses. Through the MPhil in Genomic Medicine at Cambridge, I hope to visualize the molecular, analytical, statistical, social, and clinical challenges facing the use of omics-based personalized medicine across everyday clinics. Professionally, I intend to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. advancing biochemical and computational technologies to address currently incurable diseases, and contributing to the crafting of a new era of healthcare without disparities.
University of Illinois-Chicago Biology and Chemistry 2020
My experiences travelling between my native country of Colombia and the United States have made me distinctly aware of the inequalities among different countries. These experiences combined with my interest in the natural environment have formed the foundation of my interest in the field of development and environment. I hope that my research at Cambridge will provide me with the tools to influence development patterns so that they become more environmentally and socially responsible.
I graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in May 2010 with a B.S. in Systems Engineering. Driven by a passion for curbing the effects of anthropogenic climate change while meeting growing global energy demands, I sat for an MPhil in Nuclear Engineering at Cambridge, conducting fuel cycle research on a thorium reactor concept known as the Accelerator Driven Subcritical Reactor. I am currently serving as a submarine warfare officer in the U.S. Navy.