Six Indian Americans to receive Gates Cambridge scholarship

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NEW YORK – Six Indian Americans are among 35 students selected for the prestigious Gates Cambridge scholarship, according to a PTI report.

Neil Davey, Ayan Mandal, Pranay Nadella, Vaithish Velazhahan, Kaamya Varagur and Monica Kullar will each receive a scholarship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which was set up with $210 million, and will be able to study at the University of Cambridge in the UK.

On the Gates Cambridge website, here is what the six Indian Americans had to say about receiving the scholarship:

Neil Davey, who is studying Applied Mathematics/Economics and Global Health & Health Policy at Harvard University, said “while at Cambridge, I am particularly excited to interact with faculty who research access to care, as well as be in a community of scholars who will challenge my beliefs and allow me to rethink my perspectives on healthcare. I am so grateful to be joining the Gates Cambridge community, and very eager to be surrounded by a group of intellectuals who are committed to improving the lives of others through scholarship and community engagement.”

Ayan Mandal, who is studying Neurobiology and Physics at Georgetown University, said “at Cambridge, I will be applying my growing expertise in network neuroscience analysis to uncover brain networks corresponding to states of cognition in patients with brain tumors. We hypothesize that when important pieces of cognitive networks are resected to remove the tumor, predictable surgically induced cognitive deficits will result. This work could inform neurosurgical planning before tumor resection in the future.”

Pranay Nadella, who is studying Biology and Statistics at Harvard University, said “at Cambridge, I will study the MPhil in Public Health and continue to focus on improving public health programs for vulnerable mothers and children. I’m excited to join the diverse, inspiring and passionate Gates Cambridge community.”

Vaithish Velazhahan, who is studying Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology at Kansas State University, said “I am very excited to contribute to advances in electron cryo-microscopy, and I am grateful for this opportunity to work alongside and learn from world-class scientists in the LMB.”

Kaamya Varagur, who studied Neuroscience and Vocal Performance at Princeton University, said “at Cambridge my research will specifically examine the reciprocal effects of infant-directed singing on mother and child, looking at how such music modulates physiological arousal/stress. I plan on pursuing a medical career and hope to engage with community music programs that operate out of healthcare settings throughout my life. In my time at Cambridge I also look forward to participating in its vibrant choral tradition.”

Monica Kullar, who has a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of California in San Diego and is currently a research assistant in the Psychology and Psychiatry as well as the Behavioral Sciences departments at Stanford University, said “at the University of Cambridge, I aim to conduct research on the effectiveness of down-regulating negative emotions in stressful real-world contexts, and elucidate further on neurobiological models of emotion regulation across both healthy and vulnerable populations. My goal is to advance our understanding on the complexities of managing our emotions and address ways to improve emotional and mental health.”

According to the website, scholarships are awarded to applicants from countries other than the UK, who are willing to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.