Seniors Joshua Cohen and Allison Hinckley have been named Gates Cambridge Scholars for 2012.
Cohen, who is double majoring in chemical engineering and biology, will travel to the University of Cambridge to undertake an MPhil in computational biology. He then plans to enter an MD/PhD program in the United States with the eventual goal of a career in the field of tissue engineering. He has already worked in a number of research laboratories, including the Laboratory of Biochemical Pharmacology at Emory University, the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research studying infectious diseases and virology, and the National Institutes of Health, which was funded by a competitive Bioengineering Summer Internship Program (BESIP) Fellowship. At MIT, Cohen has conducted research in the laboratories of professors Douglas Lauffenburger and Linda Griffith, where he was tasked with mathematical modeling to understand the migration of stem cells for regenerative medicine applications.
Since his freshman year, Cohen has been active in the MIT chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and currently serves as its president. Twice a month, he organizes build days with the local Habitat chapter and arranges weeklong build sessions over spring breaks. He serves as an MIT Medlink, a mentor in the Program in Leadership and Undergraduate Success, and co-leads the Baker Leaders Program. Cohen also participated as a counselor in Camp Kesem.
Hinckley, a chemical engineering major, will pursue an MPhil in nanotechnology in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at Cambridge. She hopes to gain additional background in the chemistry of nanomaterials before pursuing a PhD in the United States in either chemical engineering or materials science. Ultimately, she hopes to develop novel nanotechnologies. She is particularly interested in investigating nanotechnology approaches to manufacturing more efficient solar cells.
Hinckley has conducted research in the MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies’s chemical/biological materials science detection and protection unit, which examines methods to detect hazardous substances in the environment and invents protective measures to shield soldiers from them. Hinckley specifically worked on a sensor to detect chemical warfare agents. Building on her prior work, Hinckley most recently carried out research in Professor Michael Strano’s group in chemical engineering, developing nanotube antibodies for biological molecule detection.
Hinckley has been a varsity openweight crew athlete since her arrival at MIT, and is eager to join Cambridge’s vaunted team next year. In the summer following her sophomore year at MIT, Hinckley traveled to Egypt as an intern at ENPPI (Engineering for the Petroleum and Process Industries), where she carried out applied chemical engineering work.
MIT students have won 22 of the prestigious Gates scholarships since the program was established in 2000 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The scholarships cover tuition, room, board, travel and stipend for study at Cambridge. This year, 40 U.S. students were named Gates Scholars.