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BME senior Sandya Subramanian wins Churchill Scholarship

January 21, 2015

Sandya Subramanian

Sandya Subramanian, a Johns Hopkins University senior from Grand Rapids, Mich., has won a scholarship from the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States for graduate study at England's University of Cambridge.

The Churchill Scholarship is awarded annually to at least 14 students who have demonstrated a capacity to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the sciences, engineering, or mathematics by completing original, creative work at an advanced level. Subramanian is the fifth Johns Hopkins winner in the past four years.

Subramanian, who is majoring in biomedical engineering and applied math and statistics, hopes to become a computational neuroscience researcher, devising tools to help clinicians treating the brain. For three years, she has worked lab of Sridevi V. Sarma, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering's Institute for Computational Medicine. There she developed a tool to help doctors pinpoint the region of the brain responsible for seizures in people with epilepsy.

"Of all the undergraduate students I have supervised in research, Sandya is by far the most precocious, talented, hardworking, and diligent student — and this is significant given the talented student pool [of the university's biomedical engineering students]," Sarma said. "There is no doubt in my mind that Sandya has a remarkable ability to be innovative and conduct original research that will have a high impact on the field of neuroscience, computational medicine, and patients suffering from epilepsy."

At Cambridge, Subramanian plans to continue exploring the brain through new research projects in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences.

"It will be a first step for me as an independent researcher," she said. "This is an amazing opportunity that so few people get."

Subramanian has already spent summers in research programs at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the National Institutes of Health.

The Winston Churchill Foundation was established in 1959. The one-year Churchill Scholarship, worth between $57,000 and $63,600, pays all university and college fees, a living allowance, transportation to and from the United Kingdom, student visa expenses, a travel award, and a possible special research grant of up to $2,000.

— Extracted from an article by Jill Rosen in the Johns Hopkins Hub