Media contact: Gregory Shook, director of media relations; tele: 413-597-3401 email: [email protected]
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., February 14, 2019—Williams College graduate Dylan Griswold ’15 has been awarded the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical neurosciences this fall at the University of Cambridge. Griswold is one of 34 recipients selected from across the U.S. to participate in this highly-competitive program. The Scholars-elect represent 37 universities and will study and research subjects ranging from cybersecurity, choral music, and technology biases to neurotrauma in low-resource settings and skeletal stem cells.
An aspiring neurosurgeon, Griswold plans to use his Gates Cambridge Scholarship to research ways to improve neurosurgical techniques for traumatic brain injury, often referred to as TBI, in low-resource countries. In the future, he hopes to work with international governing bodies, such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO), ministries of health, community leaders, and local healthcare workers to address issues of health inequity and strengthen sustainable health systems around the world.
“I decided to become a neurosurgeon while I was in Haiti,” says Griswold, a third-year medical student at Stanford University who visited the country on a service trip in 2014. “The lack of safe and affordable access to neurosurgical care was tremendous….When I arrived at Stanford, my first goal was to develop a global surgery program in the medical school.”
As a student, Griswold has done extensive research to better understand the role of international governing bodies in health systems. Working with the director of the WHO Programme for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care in summer 2017, Griswold co-authored an article, with an introductory commentary on global challenges in neurotrauma, for The Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and most highly regarded general medical journals.
Griswold’s work at WHO connected him to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Health Research Group on Neurotrauma. He received a grant from Stanford to work with the group last summer. Griswold hopes to combine his academic knowledge and skills as a neurosurgeon with his leadership experience to build collaborations that will improve medical professionals’ ability to manage neurotrauma in resource-scarce settings.
Griswold was class president at Williams, where he earned his B.A. in chemistry. He is the recipient of the Frederick C. Hagedorn, Jr. Pre-Medical Prize, awarded to the top pre-medical student in the Class of 2015, and the Anderson Cancer Center’s Cullen Travel Fellowship. At Cambridge, Griswold looks forward to experiencing the college system as well as working with the university’s world-class faculty. “I have not found out which college I will be in, but I am really excited to meet the other students both in my college and the other Gates Scholars.”
Founded in 1793, Williams College is the second-oldest institution of higher learning in Massachusetts. The college’s 2,000 students are taught by a faculty noted for the quality of their teaching and research, and the achievement of academic goals includes active participation of students with faculty in their research. Students’ educational experience is enriched by the residential campus environment in Williamstown, Mass., which provides a host of opportunities for interaction with one another and with faculty beyond the classroom. Admission decisions on U.S. applicants are made regardless of a student’s financial ability, and the college provides grants and other assistance to meet the demonstrated needs of all who are admitted.