Syracuse Scholar: Natalie Rebeyev ’15
Natalie Rebeyev, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been named a Gates Cambridge Scholar, enabling her to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject at the University of Cambridge (U.K.). A dual major in biology and Jewish studies, she is one of only 40 students in the United States to receive the scholarship, which is funded by the Gates Cambridge Scholarship Foundation.
Q: What subject of study will you pursue with the Gates Cambridge Scholarship?
A: I will use the award to pursue a Ph.D. in medical science under the supervision of Paul Lehner at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research.
Q: How did you achieve this remarkable accomplishment?
A: I had a lot of help during the application process. Dean Karin Ruhlandt was one of six scientists who helped me prepare for my interview with the Cambridge selection committee. I was greatly assisted by members of Syracuse’s Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising (CFSA), who mentored and guided me throughout all phases of the process.
Other A&S faculty members conducted mock interviews, including Ramesh Raina, associate professor and chair of biology; Sandra Hewett, the Beverly Petterson Bishop Professor of Neuroscience and professor of biology; Kari Segraves, associate professor of biology; Robert Doyle, professor of chemistry; and James Hougland, assistant professor of chemistry.
Q: What do you plan to do after studying at Cambridge?
A: After studying at Cambridge, I plan to return stateside for medical school. I ultimately want to go into viral oncology, researching the link between viruses and cancer.
Q: How does your background inspire you?
A: I am a Bukharian Jew from a community that originates in Central Asia, and I am committed to sharing my experiences with and supporting the goals of young women from traditional immigrant communities. I am the first person to attend college from both sides of my family. It signifies that any woman, regardless of upbringing, economic status and cultural background, can achieve her highest goals. I’ve been so fortunate to be mentored by successful scientists, both male and female, and, thanks to this scholarship, I’ll be able to someday mentor aspiring scientists, as well. Furthermore, I will be able to make an impact on women by serving as an agent of change both locally and internationally. I could have never achieved this honor if not for the support of my professors, advisors, and peers.
Q: What other honors have you received? What are your other activities?
A: In addition to being a Coronat, McNair and Remembrance Scholar, I am a member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program. I hold leadership positions with the medical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon and the Chabad House at the University. Two summers ago, I conducted cancer research at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa (Israel) and I’m currently working on research alongside Richard Wojcikiewicz at SUNY Upstate Medical University.