Director & Faculty

Our academic faculty is specially chosen among teachers and researchers in some of the world’s leading universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, University College London, London School of Economics, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, New York University, Berkeley, the Sorbonne, Universitat de Barcelona, Universidad de Salamanca, and Pompeu Fabra. In 2017 our teaching staff in Oxford and Cambridge alone included 36 Rhodes, Gates, Marshall, and Fulbright Scholars, making Oxbridge one of the biggest employers of elite scholars in the world. 

Our creative and workshop courses, meanwhile, are taught by fully-fledged professionals – acclaimed writers and poets, filmmakers, photographers, and actors – all selected for their talent, their varied experiences in their disciplines, their enthusiasm, and above all their ability to inspire our students.

Led by these outstanding individuals, whose work is thoroughly evaluated after every summer, and operating in small, seminar-style classes, our courses immerse students in subjects about which they are passionate while helping them uncover the spectacular sites and cultures in which they are living.


The Cambridge Prep Experience Director

Director, Douglas Peterson:  

After 4 summers as a dean on the program, Doug is excited to assume the role of director of the Cambridge Prep Experience this summer.  Doug has spent the past two years teaching at the Carlucci American International School of Lisbon and will be heading to Denver, Colorado in August to teach at the Evergreen Country Day School.  He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Louisville.  Doug loves to travel, is an avid cyclist, and is looking forward to another great Oxbridge summer.


The Cambridge Prep Experience Faculty


Mudassar Ahmed

BEng National University of Science and Technology Pakistan, BEng University of Manchester, MPhil University of Cambridge

Mudassar is an engineer currently pursuing research into 3D printing technologies at the University of Cambridge. He has trained in both electrical and nuclear engineering. Outside his own work, Mudassar supervises undergraduates in engineering at Cambridge.

Abigail Branford

BA University of Cape Town, BA Rhodes University, MPhil University of Cambridge

Abigail is a researcher in African Studies at Oxford supported by a Rhodes Scholarship. Prior to Oxford she completed research on how history is taught in post conflict societies at Cambridge, where she was a Skye Cambridge and Magdalene Mandela Scholar. In 2013, she Founded the Gender and Sex Project, an initiative designed to bring critical thinking and life skills to secondary school students and to address issues of discrimination and violence. Abigail is also a champion debater. In 2015 she represented Rhodes University at the World Universities Debating Championship in Malaysia and later that year was a Quarter Finalist and 7th Best Speaker at the Pan-African Debating Championship in Ghana. She represented Cambridge at the 2017 World Universities Debating Championship ranking in the top 40 debating adjudicators in the world.

Joana Ferreira

BA University of Porto, MPhil University of Cambridge

A researcher at the famed Cambridge Institute of Criminology, Joana researcher intimate partner violence among migrant women. Outside of her research, Joana works with the Red Cross as a Project Manager, supporting projects in gender equality and youth leadership.

Dr. Angel Garcia

BS Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, MPhil, PhD University of Cambridge

Dr. Garcia holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge. Today he works as an engineer with a specialization in nanotechnology. He has held a number of major research appointments, including at the Los Alamos National Research Laboratory in the United States where he worked on carbon nanotube characterization. For many years he has supervised undergraduate and graduate students in engineering. He is active in the technology startup community in Cambridge, which is commonly known as the Silicon Fen.

Megha Harish

BA King’s College London, MPhil University of Cambridge

Megha Harish completed the MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge conducting interdisciplinary research on the social, cultural, political, and economic history of South Asia. At Cambridge, Megha published the beginnings of her research into three trailblazing Indian women scientists who she sees as the “Hidden Figures” of India. In 2015-2017 Megha was a Barbican Young Poet. She is an alumna of The Oxford Tradition.

Sarah Holden-Boyd

BA Durham University, MA King’s College London, MA Drama Centre London, MA Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

Sarah is a Lecturer in Voice at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She also holds visiting positions across the U.K. at institutions including Manchester School of Theater, The Hampstead Academy of Acting and Drama, and the Identity Drama School. She trained as an actor at the Drama Center London and the Vakhtangov Theatre Academy in Moscow. Sarah is also active in the academic sphere, and holds a master's degree in Shakespeare Studies from King's College London.

Dr. Nicholas Horrocks

BSc University of Bristol, MSc University of Oxford, PhD University of Groningen

Dr. Horrocks is a Marie Curie Intra-European Research Fellow in Zoology at the University of Cambridge. His research investigates the causes and consequences of variation in immune defenses. He is particularly interested in trying to relate variation in immunity to differences in disease pressures between environments. Dr. Horrocks has reviewed manuscripts for prestigious scholarly journals including "Functional Ecology," "Journal of Animal Ecology," and "Proceedings of the Royal Society B."

Aftab Jalia

BArch Pune University, SMArchS Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Aftab is a doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge. He holds a coveted Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship and is based in the Department of Architecture. He has special expertise on Nari Gandhi’s stunning craft-led, anti-industrial aesthetic. His cutting-edge work is often presented through a unique blend of cinema and scholarly writing. Aftab is also an active industry figure. He has represented the Aga Khan Trust for Culture at public events across India, and had the rare distinction of leading the Canadian Prime Minister and several other dignitaries during their visit to Humayun’s Tomb in 2012.

Dr. Eyemen Kheir

BSc, MSc University of Leicester, PhD University of Cambridge

Dr. Kheir is a specialist in the replication of chromosomal DNA in proliferating human somatic cells. He holds a doctorate in Molecular Cell Biology at from the University of Cambridge, where he studied at Darwin College. His early research focused on Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology, as well as Medical Genetics. Today Dr. Kheir regularly serves as a demonstrator and supervisor for undergraduates in Molecular Biology at the University.

Gunther Klobe

BSc, MSc Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich

A doctoral student in Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge, Gunther works on the mathematical modelling of decision-making in the brain and brain imaging data analysis. His previous degrees were in Physics during which he designed his own a highly efficient radiocarbon dating system. He was a teaching assistant in mathematics at the prestigious ETH in Zürich for 4 years.

Andrea Kusec

BA Ryerson University, MS McMaster University

Andrea is a neuroscientist conducting research at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge, Her work is supported by a Gates Scholarship. Andrea investigates new cognitive approaches to help those suffering from Acquired Brain Injury.

James Marshall

BCom University of Otago

James is an entrepreneur working at the intersection of cosmetics and sport. He is currently bringing several products for athletes to market. He consults for other start-up firms too, and routinely presents to stakeholders at executive level. In the past James has held a Managing Associateship with the Auriemma Consulting Group; a post in the finance division of Piran Partners; and roles with The Royal Bank of Scotland. He is a Registered Salesperson with the New Zealand Real Estate Agents Authority, and carries a National Certificate in Real Estate from the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.

Oliver Melvill

BA, MA University of Cape Town

Oliver is a South African writer currently completing his doctorate in English Literature at the University of Cambridge. His work centers on the Rousseau’s impact on both education and reading.

Stephanie Payne

BA University of Cambridge

Stephanie is a doctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge. She is a specialist in biological anthropology, and is currently working to identify the unique physiological adaptations of high altitude communities. This will enable a better understanding of how to treat low oxygen levels in critically ill patients in intensive care hospital units. Her work is multidisciplinary and spans physiology, molecular biology, anthropology and medicine. Stephanie holds a rare starred first-class undergraduate degree in Natural Science from the University of Cambridge.

Dr. Alice Peasley

MBBS Newcastle University, MRES Newcastle University

Dr. Peasley is currently based in the medical department at Kettering General Hospital. Her research interests focus on acute medicine, emergency medicine, and surgery. During the course of her career she has worked in accident and emergency departments, gastroenterology departments, and colorectal surgery departments.

Dr. Natalie Quinn

MEng University of Manchester, PhD University College London

Dr. Quinn is a structural engineer at Momentum Consulting Engineers. She is currently working on projects to assess the seismic performance of historic buildings in Peru, and to recommend appropriate strengthening solutions where required. She has carried out extended fieldwork in Peru to gather data on geometry and materials, and has collaborated with many architects and local stakeholders as part of the process. Dr. Quinn gained her PhD in Civil Engineering from University College London. She is a committed teacher and has supervised architecture students up to graduate level. Outside of academia, she has contributed to poverty alleviation and disaster relief projects run by groups like Engineers Without Borders and Pisco Sin Fronteras.

Yevgen Sautin

BA University of Florida, MA University of Chicago

A specialist in modern Chinese history, Yevgen is completing his doctorate at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Scholar. His work centers on Manchuria in the period immediately following World War II, asking big questions about the balance of power in East Asia, the determination of borders, and the impact of the early Cold War period on modern China. Prior to Cambridge he studied as a Boren Fellow at National Taiwan University. He writes frequently for The American Interest, The Independent, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Robert Shesol

BA University of Pennsylvania, BSc Wharton School of Business

Rob is an investment analyst based in Prague. He acts as a principal for an international team of investors establishing a $100-million mezzanine fund focused on Central European real estate. His career began in the Real Estate Group of Salomon Smith Barney's New York Investment Banking Division. There he helped to lead several IPOs, raising over $7.5 billion in the process. Later Rob relocated to Europe to take on senior positions in venture capital. He worked first in Dublin and then in the Czech Republic. Most recently, Rob has consulted with The Gem Group, a London-based private equity fund.

Sylwia Slodowy

BA Jagiellonian University, BSc Westminister University, MA University of the Arts London, MFA Wimbledon College of Art, University of Arts London

Sylwia is a London-based artist. Primarily a painter working in oils on paper and canvas, much of Sylwia’s work is drawn from archival photos that she collects. Her work has been recognized by Saatchi Art, British Women Artists, and The Brix. Her work is shown in galleries throughout London.

Dr. Valentina Tabbasum

MBBS Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie din Craiova, MPhil University of Cambridge

Dr. Tabassum works in the University of Cambridge Pharmacology Department, where she holds a prestigious Gates Scholarship. She has already qualified as a medical doctor and is now researching new ways to fight disease. Her particular areas of expertise include cell biology and signalling, and inositol phosphates and lipids. She is currently focusing on the mechanisms involved in Adenylyl Cyclase type VIII trafficking and targeting to cholesterol-rich domains. She also serves as an undergraduate supervisor at the University.

Praveen Teleti

BEng Birla Institute of Technology, MSc University of Surrey

A Junior Research Fellow with the Indian National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research and a doctoral researcher at the Scott Polar Research Institute at Cambridge, Praveen studies how climate change affects Antarctic sea ice variability, from seasonal to decadal time-scales using historical ship records from the dawn of the 20th century, marking the Heroic age of Antarctic exploration.

Dr. Chinedu Ugwu

DVM University of Ibadan, MSc University of Oxford

Dr. Ugwu is a veterinarian with interest in infection and immunity and the winner of a Presidential Scholarship for Innovation and Development from the Federal Government of Nigeria. He studied Integrated Immunology at Oxford and is completing a PhD in Cambridge on viral persistence and the role of antigen presenting cells.

Pedro Vallejo Ramirez

BS University of Rochester

Pedro is an optical engineer undertaking doctoral research in biotechnology at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Scholar. His work aims to identify new trade-offs between optical and digital complexity in super resolution microscopy to better understand chemical reactions in the human body at a nanometer scale.

Callie Vandewiele

BA Pacific University, MPhil University of Cambridge

Callie is a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on the heritage resurgence among Maya groups in Guatemala. Prior to Cambridge, Callie worked extensively with the Girl Scouts on leadership education.

Dr. Rebecca Varley–Winter

BA University of Cambridge, MA King’s College London, PhD University of Cambridge

Dr. Varley-Winter is a lecturer in English Literature at Keble College in the University of Oxford. Her current research focuses on topics including literary fragments and fragmentation, lyric poetry, and war literature; and writers such as Emily Dickinson, Mina Loy, and Stevie Smith. She is also active as a poet. Her work has appeared in "Obsessed with Pipework," "Gadabout," "Varsity," and "Pomegranate." She was awarded the Brewer Hall Poetry Prize in 2013. Outside of academia, Dr. Varley-Winter has worked as an Editorial Assistant at the Natural History Museum in London.

Dr. David Vesely

BS Creighton University, MD, PhD University of Arizona

Dr. Vesely is Professor of Medicine, Molecular Pharmacology, and Physiology at the University of South Florida Medical School in Tampa. He is the author of 328 peer-reviewed scientific publications and three books. Dr. Vesely discovered three hormones made by the heart which, in healthy individuals, help control blood pressure and sodium and water metabolism. He is a decorated scientist and has been awarded the Service to America Career Achievement Medal for the most significant research over a 25-year period. He has also simultaneously been the Chief of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the Tampa Veterans' Administration (VA) hospital.

Victoria Visco Mendonca

BA Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, BA Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, MA EICAR International Film School

Victoria is a Brazilian filmmaker. She has experience in all aspects of filmmaking, including directing, producing, and working as a casting director for feature films, short films, and music videos. She has worked as a creative assistant and researcher for Ridley Scott Associates. Victoria’s first film “She Walks” won the Albert Broccoli Award for Best Film at the Cinematheque Française and had its premiere at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam. She is currently working on her next film, “Selvagem”.

Justin Yang

BA, BSc University of British Columbia, MPH, CHFM, CPHI Johns Hopkins University

Justin is conducting doctoral research at the University of Cambridge. He is based in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care. His current project draws on epidemiology, econometrics, and applied policy analysis to interrogate government responses to macroeconomic shocks in European countries and their impact on population health. Prior to taking up his current position, he worked as a Senior Associate for Avalere Health. In this role he helped Fortune 500 life science companies and charitable foundations solve coverage, coding, payment, and patient access problems.