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Rahul Rekhi wins a 2013 Marshall scholarship

By Nicole Zhao     11/28/12 6:00pm

Sid Richardson College senior Rahul Rekhi is one of 34 students selected nationwide to receive a 2013 Marshall scholarship. The Marshall scholarships fund up to 40 American students annually to study at the graduate level at any institution in the United Kingdom in the field of study of their choice, according to the Marshall scholarships website. 

Rekhi, a bioengineering and economics double major, said he will spend his first year at the University of Oxford pursuing a master's of science in biomedical engineering. He will spend his second year pursuing a master's of science in International Health Policy at the London School of Economics. 

"While at Oxford, I'm really looking forward to getting involved with the cutting-edge translational research taking place at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering to develop novel therapies for cancer and stroke," Rekhi said. "[At the LSE,] I'd like to engage with world leaders on healthcare policy and learn from some innovative programs that the UK has pioneered, such as their national system of health technology assessment." 

The scholarships cover university fees, living expenses, annual book grant, thesis grant, research and daily travel grants and fares to and from the United States, according to the Marshall Scholarships website. 

Rekhi is the 24th Rice student to win a Marshall scholarship and the fifth student to win since 2010, according to Caroline Quenemoen, director of the Office of Fellowships and Undergraduate Research. 

 "The Marshall is among the most prestigious postgraduate awards," Quenemoen said. "The scholarship will enable Rahul to build upon his impressive record of scholarship, on topics ranging from the computer simulation of blood-vessel growth to qualitative assessment of scientific research, and his significant leadership in improving access to healthcare and scientific information." 

Rekhi said he is excited and humbled to receive the scholarship. 

"For me, the Marshall is at once a validation of my vision, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a reminder that my aspirations must always be higher than the self," Rekhi said. "I view this investment in me as a mandate to make real, global impacts." 

After his stay in the U.K., Rekhi plans to pursue graduate education in the U.S. and engage in a career that spans the fields of health, technology and policy, he said. 

"My vision is to not only be involved with developing biomedical innovations that help tackle many of the major diseases afflicting the globe, but to also craft public policy at the national and international levels," Rekhi said. 

A 2011 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar and a 2012 Harry S. Truman Scholar, Rekhi has completed policy internships at both the National Science Foundation and World Health Organization. He did a global health technology development internship with Beyond Traditional Borders in Malawi and interned twice in cancer imaging and immunotherapy at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. 

Since his freshman year, Rekhi has done research in the lab of assistant professor of bioengineering Amina Qutub on computational modeling of angiogenesis. 

Qutub said she is thrilled that Rekhi is being recognized as a Marshall Scholar. 

"Any initial reservations of taking on a new undergraduate were quickly replaced with the joy of seeing [Rekhi] develop his talents as an innovative systems biologist and science policy-maker," Qutub said. "[Rekhi] maintains a sense of intellectual curiosity, humor and modesty that makes him an ideal ambassador for the Marshall Scholar program." 

Brown College junior Nathan Truong said the scholarship will offer Rekhi a unique experience. 

"He's a very intelligent person who has a wide array of interests spanning from science and public policy that will lead him to pursue a impactful career," Truong said. "It's an amazing accomplishment and the scholarship speaks to what he's done at Rice and his bright future." 

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