AMHERST, MA–Edridge D’Souza, an Indian American, is one of 15 undergraduates nationwide to earn the prestigious 2019 Churchill Scholarship for a year of post-graduate study in genetics at the University of Cambridge in England.
The international scholarship targets bright young minds with the potential to advance knowledge and discovery in science, math and engineering.
D’Souza, 21, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, math minor at UMass Amherst, from Shrewsbury, proposed to study two developmental genes that regulate the nervous system. He will earn a Master of Philosophy in Genetics.
“I’m interested in integrating traditional biology with next-generation computational techniques,” says D’Souza, a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society who has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA.
As a summer research intern, D’Souza has worked in two UMass Medical School labs: the RNA Therapeutics Institute lab of Distinguished Professor Craig Mello, a co-winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine; and the biochemistry and molecular pharmacology lab of Prof. Nicholas Rhind.
In addition to carrying a rigorous academic schedule, D’Souza finds time for extracurricular activities that reflect a spirit of “giving back.”
He serves as a peer mentor for first-year students on campus and is developing the UMass Genetics Club to increase genetics literacy among students. He also is a state-certified rape crisis counselor/advocate at the Hampshire County Center for Women and Community and writes an op-ed column for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian.
Edridge D’Souza was also the recipient of 2018 Goldwater Scholarship.