For first time, two Yale students named Churchill Scholars in a single year

For the first time, two Yale students have been selected as Churchill Scholars, one of the most prestigious awards for postgraduate study.

The two seniors — biomedical engineering major  Kavitha Anandalingam of Saybrook College and Jonathan Liang of Ezra Stiles College, a major in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. — are among the 14 scholars who will attend school at the University of Cambridge next fall.

Depending upon the field of study, the scholarships offer between $52,000 and $63,000 in support.

Anandalingram is a Beckman Scholar who has worked in the Yale laboratories of Mark Saltzman and Dr. Peter Glazer on a new gene therapy technique for cystic fibrosis. She has been active in the Yale chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, is co-director of AIDS Walk New Haven, and has volunteered for the Yale Refugee Project, and at Yale New Haven Hospital. At Cambridge, she plans to work on a new interdisciplinary research project on motor control in the laboratory of Daniel M. Wolpert, with a long-term goal of creating neural prosthetic devices that can perform the function of limbs damaged as the result of disease or injury. 

Liang is a Goldwater Scholar who studies RNA regulatory elements known as riboswitches in the laboratory of Ronald Breaker and is interested in the role of non-coding RNA in human disease. A writer and editor for the Yale Scientific, Liang also plays clarinet in the Davenport Pops and is active in the Yale International Relations Association, as well as the student chapter of Engineers without Borders. At Cambridge, he plans to complete coursework in computational biology and work on a project to understand the global genomic profile of breast cancer in the laboratory of Florian Markowetz.

The new Churchill Scholars hail from 11 institutions, and their fields of study include astronomy, chemistry, computational biology, earth sciences, engineering, theoretical mathematics, neuroscience, and, for the first time, veterinary medicine.

The Winston Churchill Foundation was established in 1959. The first Churchill Scholarships, three in number, were made in 1963. With this new group there will be a total number of 479 Churchill Scholars, 19 from Yale.