Research focuses on tissue-engineering methods to heal articular cartilage defects
BY SHAWN HUTCHINS
Special to the Rice News
Rice University graduate student Rebecca Dahlin is one of 85 women doctoral candidates who have been selected from across the United States and Canada to receive a 2012-2013 Scholar Award by P.E.O. International.
P.E.O. is a philanthropic educational organization that provides financial aid for the education of women. The organization’s chapter in Georgetown, Texas, coordinated efforts to nominate Dahlin for the competitive merit-based scholarship that includes a one-time gift of $15,000. Priority for P.E.O. Scholar Awards is given to women who are well established in their programs.
Dahlin is a third-year bioengineering graduate student in the laboratory of Antonios Mikos, Rice’s Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering, professor in chemical and biomolecular engineering and director of Rice’s Center for Excellence in Tissue Engineering. Dahlin is developing tissue-engineering techniques to improve treatments for articular cartilage defects. Specifically, she has designed a flow perfusion bioreactor to culture articular chondrocytes and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells on porous polymer scaffolds.
“Rebecca is a truly exceptional graduate student and is making outstanding progress in her research to advance technologies for cartilage regeneration,” Mikos said. “I am thrilled for her and the tremendous opportunity provided to her through the P.E.O. Scholar Awards program.”
Dahlin is also a student of the Med Into Grad training program, which aims to develop professionals with the expertise to make breakthroughs needed to reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer. The program integrates training in cancer biology, clinical medicine, translational research and bioengineering. It is run by Rice and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
While at Rice, Dahlin has been an active member of the Student and Young Investigator Section (SYIS) of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS). She is the SYIS-Americas council treasurer, and she has served as a student co-chair for sessions at the December 2011 TERMIS-NA annual meeting.
Dahlin has a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Texas A&M University, where she was a President’s Endowed Scholar and a Robert C. Byrd Scholar of the U.S. Department of Education.
–Shawn Hutchins is a Web coordinator and staff writer for the George R. Brown School of Engineering.