In Pakistan, you may be a very good student, said Mohammad Usmani, a senior in Fordham College at Lincoln Center, but the education you get most likely won’t help you reach your full potential.
For that reason, Usmani’s father decided in 2004 to immigrate to the United States. The family settled in Brooklyn, where Usmani learned English, attended Franklin D. Roosevelt High School and was accepted to Fordham.
Now Usmani has received Fordham’s first Cambridge University International Scholars Ph.D. award—fully paid living expenses and tuition toward a doctoral degree in science at Cambridge University.
The double major in mathematics and natural sciences aspires to be a physician scientist. Once he earns his doctorate degree in rheumatology, Usmani plans to apply to medical schools in the United States. (In fact, Usmani turned down offers to attend Stony Brook University School of Medicine and New York Medical College to accept the Cambridge award.)
An enthusiastic researcher with a 3.96 average, Usmani already has worked in laboratories at Princeton’s Department of Molecular Biology, where he studied cancer development, and at Brown University, where he studied Parkinson’s disease and nicotine addiction. Under a Fordham mentor, Frederick Marotto, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics, he researched how diseases such as AIDS spread through populations.
“The professors at Fordham are absolutely amazing,” Usmani said. “I am what I am because of them.”
Following graduation, and before he leaves for the United Kingdom, Usmani will be working in Indianapolis for Eli Lilly and Company, helping develop a drug for Parkinson’s.