Yale Student Wins Coveted Churchill Scholarship to Study in England
Yale College senior Margaret Sarah Ebert is one of 11 students nationwide who were selected for a Churchill Scholarship to study at Cambridge University next year.
Ebert is majoring in molecular, cellular and developmental biology (MCDB) with a focus on biotechnology. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she is editor-in-chief of the publication “Yale Scientific,” and is a lead cellist in the Yale Symphony Orchestra.
As an undergraduate, Ebert has been active in a research team studying ways to modify a certain type of RNA. At Cambridge, Ebert will be doing research in protein and nucleic acid chemistry under Dr. Andrew Griffiths, which is a natural extension of her work at Yale. Describing the research she will do at Cambridge as “directed evolution,” she explains that its purpose is to create an environment where molecules compete for “survival of the fittest.” “The idea of mimicking Darwinian evolution in a test tube” has many potential applications, she says. These include developing and testing new drugs to target specific biological molecules and furthering scientific understanding of “how the structure of a certain protein determines its function.”
The Winston Churchill Foundation Scholarships support one year of graduate study at Churchill College, Cambridge, in engineering, mathematics or the sciences. The award provides payment of all university and college tuition and fees at Cambridge, as well as living and travel expenses.