Bellotti, 24, of Charlotte, NC, will use the prestigious award to pursue doctoral studies in engineering at the University of Cambridge in fall 2017. The award, founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, is among the most generous international scholarships and covers the full costs of study for nearly any field of graduate study.
Bellotti is the sixth person from NC State to receive the Gates Cambridge Scholarship and the second to receive it as an alum. NC State’s fifth Gates Cambridge Scholar, Ryan Going, was named in 2009. Bellotti earned his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering with a minor in biological sciences and is a graduate of the University Honors Program. He is currently enrolled in his second year of medical school at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he will return to complete his medical degree.
“On behalf of NC State University, we congratulate Adriano for being awarded this prestigious scholarship. We are so proud of his accomplishment and his commitment to continue his education as a Gates Cambridge Scholar, working to advance treatments of neurological disorders and pathologies,” said NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson. “Adriano truly embodies NC State’s ‘Think and Do’ spirit. He took full advantage of his time at NC State to conduct research in biomedicine, computer science, and microbiology with the goal of becoming a transformative leader and innovative physician-scientist. We look forward to hearing of his future success.”
Recipients were chosen from an applicant pool of over 800 after a departmental ranking, an evaluation by a shortlisting committee, and an interview. U.S. and international round applicants are selected, in addition to academic excellence and leadership potential, upon a commitment to improving the lives of others while being a good academic fit with one of Cambridge’s graduate degree programs.
“Through research and coursework, NC State taught me pragmatic perspectives on problem-solving,” said Bellotti. “I look forward to representing the university in the collaborative Gates Cambridge community as I study neurophysiology through computational modeling.”
As an undergraduate, Bellotti graduated summa cum laude with a perfect GPA and earned several awards; he received twice both the departmental Abrams Scholar award and the Katherine Stinson Scholarship for excellence in engineering, and the Thermo Scientific Antibody Scholarship in fall 2014. He served as an Honors Village Fellow as a sophomore and as president of Engineering World Health for two of his four years in the campus chapter.
Bellotti is fluent in French, speaks beginner Arabic, and is co-author on several published and pending journal articles. He credits his freshman year course, Phage Hunters, with giving him the first opportunity to conduct research.
“We are sure Adriano will apply his drive and intellectual curiosity to service for the greater good,” said Tiffany Kershner, adjunct teaching assistant professor of anthropology and director of NC State’s Fellowship Advising Office. “With his dedication to excellence in multiple disciplines and his delightful, humble character, he has the foundation and skills to ‘take others with him’ as he leads, as recognized by the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.”
At Cambridge, Bellotti will use his three years to explore neuroplasticity in both a single neuron as well as across neuronal circuits as a student in Darwin College. He then hopes to build a career of research, patient care, and teaching.
The Fellowship Advising Office (FAO) helps NC State’s undergraduate students, graduate students, and alums learn of and apply for nationally competitive and prestigious awards. These awards fund a wide range of opportunities, and many are connected to undergraduate and graduate degree programs or internships, overseas opportunities, and independent projects.