I grew up catching praying mantises and damselflies in rural Kentucky. As an undergraduate at Centre College, I majored in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; I spent my summers taking care of sick children at the Center for Courageous Kids and doing research in organic chemistry and neuroscience. I matriculated directly to the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and completed my first three years of medical school. I then moved to Janelia Research Campus as a HHMI Medical Research Fellow; there I studied the neural and genetic bases of behavior. As a PhD student in Zoology, I will study adaptive behavior. All animals integrate information about past experience into future decisions; this is the basis of learning and memory. I am proposing to write a specific memory and read the memory trace in the brain. I will use the fruit fly as a model organism. By understanding mechanisms of memory storage, we can begin to investigate changes in memory formation in disease; this may allow us to develop rational therapies for disorders of memory formation, including autism and Alzheimer’s disease. After completing my PhD, I will return to finish my last year of medical school and pursue a career as a child neurologist and neuroscientist, using my lab to better understand the patients I see in clinic.
A Gates Cambridge debate at Hay Festival highlighted the importance of new funding models and innovation in improving global health and access to vital vaccines.
This year’s Weekend of Research was one of the biggest scholar-organised events ever, bringing together scholars and alumni around the world virtually to discuss their research.
A study co-authored by Ramit Debnath looks at how nudge policies and the use of frugal innovation helped India in the lockdown phase of COVID-19.
Gates Cambridge Scholars and Alumni are taking part in a panel discussion on global health and vaccines at this year’s online Hay Festival.
Kumar Thurimella will combine his maths and medical knowledge for his PhD in Biotechnology looking at new ways to tackle inflammatory disease.
Alice Musabende is named this year’s winner of the Bill Gates Sr. Prize, nominated by her peers.
Lucinda Lai and colleagues have created an app that helps emergency doctors help COVID-19 patients at the end of life.
Scholar-Elect Yasemin Cole will study the genomic landscape of paragangliomas, pheochromocytomas and gastrointestinal stromal tumours.
This year’s Weekend of Research will be online and feature scholars and alumni in discussions, workshops and presentations about their research.