Washington University in St. Louis seniors Sabrina Hu and Sam Norwitz are among the 23 U.S. students who have been selected for the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which fully funds postgraduate study and research at the University of Cambridge. Chase Antonacci, a 2019 alumnus, also has been named a scholar.
At Cambridge, Hu plans to earn a PhD in chemistry, studying the synthesis and host-guest chemistry of a particular class of supramolecular cages, which will have applications in desalination and industrial chemical and gas separations.
“My formative years were shaped by a backdrop of natural destruction, catastrophes on such a scale that made human efforts seem almost inconsequential,” wrote Hu, whose home was partially destroyed by Hurricane Ike. “It is easy to feel helpless in the face of the flood, but discovering my love for chemistry and aptitude for research has lit a fire underneath me to fight climate change the way that I know how.”
Norwitz, who also received an NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholarship, plans to earn a PhD in medical science, exploring the genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying the cognitive deficits and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in Down syndrome. Norwitz wrote that his early experiences coaching children with neurodevelopmental disorders sparked his interest in neuroscience.
“My long-term goal is to become a physician-scientist with a focus on pediatric neuroscience, seeking international dialogue and research collaboration in bettering the lives of children with neurodevelopmental challenges,” Norwitz wrote.
The Gates-Cambridge scholarship was established in 2000 through a $210 million donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.