Last Friday, an ordinary afternoon turned into a big day for Keira Driansky ’03. She was chatting on the Internet when she received a call informing her that she had won the Marshall Scholarship.
“The man spoke with a British accent, which was fun,” Driansky said. “He said, ‘You’re going to England!'”
The Marshall Scholarship, awarded to 40 American students each year, funds two years of study and living costs in England. Kristina Weaver ’03 also received the Marshall Scholarship last week.
Driansky is an applied mathematics major concentrating in biochemistry and economics. She will attend the University of Cambridge, where she plans to study biostatistics, which uses mathematical models to model the human genome, and pharmacogenomics, the development of drugs for individual genetic subgroups.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity both to study abroad and in a really great program,” Driansky said.
At Cambridge, Driansky will participate in a new program called Bioscience Enterprise. The program looks at biological and economic aspects of drug development. Driansky said that in the future, medications will be tailored for people in different genetic subgroups, reducing the incidence of adverse drug reactions.
Molecular biophysics and biochemistry professor Lise Heginbotham, who taught and worked with Driansky, said Cambridge’s program seemed ideal for Driansky.
“My impression is that she spent her undergrad career mastering a couple of different fields and that she wants to synthesize them in future studies,” Heginbotham said. “There aren’t many programs that allow you to do that, and she’s picked a program that will.”
Heginbotham recalled Driansky as an enthusiastic and inquisitive student.
In addition to her scientific studies, Driansky said she enjoyed literature classes, dancing and playing tennis and softball.
“I absolutely have loved Yale,” she said.
Driansky said that as an undergraduate, the only thing missing from her experience was the opportunity to take a semester abroad, since there were not many places where she could fulfill the requirements of her major. She said she is excited to travel and take advantage of the resources at Cambridge to further her studies.
“Britain is where a lot of the exciting genetics research is going on right now, so it’s ideal to go there,” Driansky said. “And, fish and chips are great.”