Duke Senior Named Gates-Cambridge Scholar

Catherine Newman

Duke senior Catherine Newman is among 35 U.S. recipients selected for the prestigious Gates-Cambridge Scholarship, which covers a student’s tuition and living expenses while completing a graduate degree at the University of Cambridge.

Some 4,500 applicants competed for only 90 places (55 of the scholarships are reserved for students from outside the United States).

The Gates-Cambridge Scholarship program began in 2000 with a grant of $210 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The scholarships enable students from around the world to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in the subject of their choosing. Scholars are chosen on the basis of their intellect, leadership potential, commitment to improving the lives of others and the academic fit with scholarship at Cambridge.

Beginning this fall at Cambridge, Newman plans to pursue a Masters of Philosophy in Biological Science with a biochemistry concentration under the tutelage of Ben Luisi. She looks forward to furthering her research on multidrug resistance by examining the structures of type 1 secretion systems using cryo-electron microscopy.  

At Duke, Newman is pursuing a major in chemistry with a concentration in biochemistry, and a minor in biology. She has been on the Dean’s List with Distinction.

Newman, from Mebane, North Carolina, was a fellow in the Howard Hughes Research Program and was awarded a Duke Biochemistry Summer Fellowship and the Duke Chemistry Research Fellowship.

She has shown her commitment to improving the lives of others in her work with the Global Medical Brigades program. She has also volunteered with Duke Femmes (Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering and Science), tutoring in the local community.  

Newman has been active in research since her arrival at Duke, working primarily in the laboratory of Richard Brennan. 

“Cat is a gifted scholar with a strong bent toward understanding biology through the eyes of a chemist, who also still manages her time so effectively that she is able to contribute to the local and world community in so many meaningful ways,” Brennan said.

After completing her time at Cambridge, Newman plans to pursue a Ph.D. and a medical degree. Her goal is to use her knowledge of medicine, structural biology and biochemistry to promote rational drug design and develop treatments for the benefit of the global community.

A complete list of this year's recipients is online at https://www.gatescambridge.org/our-scholars/new-scholars.