Denison University is delighted to announce that alumna Megan Ansbro ’09 has been chosen as a recipient of the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship for 2015. Ansbro was one of only 40 scholars, selected from a field of 755, who achieved the award, which provides a full scholarship for full-time postgraduate degree in any academic area offered at the University of Cambridge in England.
“I am very honored and excited to have received the scholarship. I was fortunate enough to have many truly amazing professors at Denison who definitely influenced me and have continually supported me in my endeavors,” said Ansbro.
Ansbro, who originally hails from Conneaut, Ohio, graduated summa cum laude from Denison with a bachelor of science in biology. She currently is in her second year of medical school at the University of California, Irvine. Upon graduation from Denison, Ansbro was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to work with a research team at the University of Innsbruck in Austria, where she investigated chromatin assembly pathways to advance understanding of chromosome biology.
“During my undergraduate studies, I performed research in cellular biology and quickly became intrigued by the ways in which genetic changes can cause — and even promote — disease, specifically cancer,” said Ansbro. “My passion for scientific research and medicine at Denison led me to pursue a combined M.D./Ph.D. degree.”
Ansbro will pursue her Ph.D. in the Department of Pharmacology at Cambridge, and at the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. Her doctoral research will analyze the role of multi-drug transporters in the development of cancer cell resistance to chemotherapeutic treatments.
The Gates Cambridge Postgraduate Scholarship Program was established through a $210 million donation to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2001, which remains the largest single donation ever made to a United Kingdom university. Competition for the scholarship is fierce and the program is unique in its emphasis on social leadership, as well as outstanding academic ability.
Professor Barry Everitt, provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, said, “We are absolutely delighted to announce our new U.S. Scholars. They are an extremely diverse group of outstanding individuals who are both intellectually exceptional and show a dedication to improving the lives of others. We look to them as future leaders who will change the world for the better.”