Third member of Yale Class of 2012 wins Gates Scholarship

Recent Yale College graduate Chidiebere (Chidi) Akusobi has received a Gates Scholarship to continue his studies in biochemistry at the University of Cambridge.

A native of Nigeria, Akusobi grew up in the Bronx, New York, and majored in evolutionary biology at Yale. He is interested in studying how certain viruses, known as phages, attack bacteria. After earning his M.Phil. degree at Cambridge, Akusobi intends to pursue an M.D./Ph.D.

"I'm particularly interested in antibiotic resistance and novel approaches to treating bacterial diseases. As an M.D., I look forward to translating my research to the bedside," says Akusobi in his biography on the Gates Foundation website.

The biography also cites Akusobi’s dedication to bringing science to inner-city public school children as well as his interest in playwriting and performing. At Yale he worked with New Haven students on science projects, taught playwriting to children in the 9th grade, and was a member of an undergraduate dance group.

Two Yale students, Sarah Armitage and Harry McNamara, were awarded Gates scholarships earlier this year. (See story.)

The Gates Foundation does two rounds of competition: an earlier one for U.S. candidates and a later one for international candidates. Although now a U.S. citizen, Akusobi was considered in the second category since he applied as a Nigerian citizen.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship was established by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for scholars of outstanding academic merit and leadership potential from outside the United Kingdom to study at the University of Cambridge.