Villanova Presidential Scholar Gina Ngo ’24 Named University’s Third Marshall Scholar

This scholarship will support Ngo’s postgraduate studies in the United Kingdom

Villanova Presidential Scholar Gina Ngo ’24 Named University’s Third Marshall Scholar

VILLANOVA, Pa. (December 11, 2023) - Villanova University Presidential Scholar Gina Ngo ’24 CLAS, a senior from Havertown, Pa., has been named a 2024 recipient of the Marshall Scholarship, making her the third Villanovan to receive the prestigious award and the first since 2015. The fellowship will support Ngo’s intent to pursue postgraduate studies in Medical Sciences (Oncology) at the University of Cambridge and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. After completing the two one-year programs, Ngo anticipates furthering her education to receive an MD/PhD and practicing as a physician-scientist.

The award announcement was made by the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission, which is comprised of eight regional selection committees. 51 Americans were chosen as 2024 Scholars—the largest class in its 70-year history—and were selected from more than 1,000 nominated students.  

One of the most prestigious and selective scholarships in the world, the Marshall Scholarship program was created by an Act of British Parliament in 1953 in gratitude to former U.S. Secretary of State Gen. George Marshall and the United States for their assistance under the Marshall Plan. Since that time, more than 2,200 Americans have received the award, gaining the ability to study any academic subject at a British university of their choice for up to three years.

“On behalf of the entire Villanova community, we congratulate Gina [Ngo] on this accomplishment and know she will continue to represent our University with distinction as she embarks on this remarkable journey,” said University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD. “Gina’s dedication to academic excellence and to making a positive impact are inspiring and truly embody our Augustinian Catholic mission. This prestigious recognition is a testament to her hard work and commitment.”

A Community-Focused Scholar

A 2023 Goldwater Scholar, Ngo studies Biology, Peace and Justice, and Chinese Language and Cultural Studies in the University’s Honors Program. In her first year at Villanova, Ngo began working with Biology professor Anil Bamezai, PhD, through Villanova’s Center for Research and Fellowships Match Research Program. Ngo was subsequently awarded a Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship to study Ly-6A, a potential immune checkpoint that can impact the treatment of tumors, through independent research with Dr. Bamezai. Since 2021, she has been a member of the student editorial board of Veritas: Villanova Research Journal. In 2022, Ngo completed a summer research internship at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, where she identified an immunosuppressive mechanism in glioblastoma and devised a method for targeting it while considering the mode of delivery to glioblastoma patients. This past summer, Ngo interned in a radiation oncology research group at the University of Pennsylvania and will complete an Honors Senior Thesis on her immunology research.

In addition to her research efforts, Ngo works to improve lives through her leadership and advocacy in a variety of programs and initiatives, including as the founder of Villanova Refugee Empowerment and volunteer work with Philadelphia’s Nationalities Service Center, Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, and the Honors Program. Earlier this year, she began volunteering with EducationUSA in Ukraine, meeting virtually with Ukrainian high school students to advise them on applications to postsecondary institutions.

After earning her MD/PhD, Ngo intends to practice as a physician-scientist and neuro-oncologist, aiming to provide medical expertise to individuals who may otherwise not have access to lifesaving care. Her priorities lie in collaborating with cancer researchers across the globe to advance access to effective brain cancer treatments, and she is particularly focused on the management of brain cancers for which no curative treatments currently exist.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit