Gillings student Daniel Malawsky selected as Churchill Scholar

February 6, 2020

Daniel Malawsky (Photo by Jon Gardiner)

Daniel Malawsky (Photo by Jon Gardiner)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill senior Daniel Malawsky, who studies biostatistics at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been named a Churchill Scholarship recipient by the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States.

Malawsky is one of 15 American scholars selected for this research-focused award, which provides funding for graduate study at the University of Cambridge in England. He will be based at the school’s Churchill College, the only college at Cambridge focused on STEM subjects.

Malawsky, a Morehead-Cain Scholar, also has won a C-START Program grant and an outstanding poster award at the Stanford Research Conference. Additionally, he is a concert-level cellist. He will graduate Phi Beta Kappa in May 2020, majoring in biostatistics and mathematics with a minor in chemistry.

“Daniel is exceptional — not just for his academic excellence, but also for the way he blends his studies with his research and a copious number and depth of other interests,” said Gillings School Associate Professor Jane Monaco, DrPH.

Malawsky continuously seeks to be involved in projects that synthesize his knowledge of chemistry, biology, statistics and programming. A scientist at heart, he has participated in various projects throughout his college career, ranging from conducting neuroscience research concerning the neural circuitry of anxiety at the National Institute of Health Sciences, identifying the causes of therapeutic resistance in medulloblastomas at UNC and developing a computer simulation of chemical reactions to study the origins of life at Oxford University.

However, Malawsky’s most transformative experience may have been volunteering at the Terem refugee clinic in Tel Aviv the summer after his first year of college. During his time at the clinic, Malawsky grew close with Eritrean community members and learned about the public health and social challenges they face in Israel. While at Terem, he helped refugees prepare asylum seeker requests and translated their personal statements into English while working to establish partnerships between the clinic and other health-related organizations. When he returned to his studies, his interests shifted to figuring out how he could apply what he had learned to narrow the gaps in medical equity for the Eritrean population in Israel.

Malawsky’s experience working with this community, coupled with his interest in bioinformatics research and medical ethics, sharpened his research focus to medical population genetics within marginalized groups. At Cambridge, he will study biological science, researching the medical genetics of understudied populations from south Asia. The year at Churchill College will further develop Malawsky’s ability to make a difference in the world of population genetics — and the world at large.


Contact the Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at sphcomm@unc.edu.

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