Rice University student named Marshall Scholar


B.J. Almond


Rice University student named Marshall Scholar

Rahul Rekhi will study at London School of Economics and Oxford University

 HOUSTON — (Nov. 28, 2012) — Rice University senior Rahul Rekhi is one of 34 students across the U.S. selected for a 2013 Marshall Scholarship.

The scholarship, founded by an Act of Parliament in 1953 to commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan, allows American students to pursue two years of graduate study at any institution in the United Kingdom. Marshall Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit, leadership and ambassadorial potential.

Rekhi, who is majoring in both bioengineering and economics at Rice, will use the scholarship to complete a Master of Science degree in international health policy at the London School of Economics (LSE) and a Master of Science degree in bioengineering at Oxford University.

“I’m very excited by the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge translational research at Oxford’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, where scientists, engineers and physicians from around the world collaborate to develop the next generation of therapeutic technologies,” Rekhi said. “I’m a big believer in the potential for this interdisciplinary, transnational approach to help tackle complex diseases like cancer and stroke.”

He noted that Oxford has a “unique tutorial-driven educational system that really promotes creativity and self-discovery” and a historic residential college system that served as a model for Rice’s residential colleges.

At LSE, Rekhi plans to engage with world leaders on health care policy and health economics while gleaning insights from the British National Health Service that can be applied back in the U.S.

“Through these courses of study, I hope to lay the groundwork for leading internationally collaborative efforts throughout my career, both in the development of innovative therapies and in global policymaking,” he said.

Caroline Quenemoen, director of fellowships and undergraduate research at Rice, said Rekhi is the 24th Marshall Scholar from Rice and the fifth since 2010. “At a time when science and human health are increasingly at the mercy of partisan politics and misunderstanding, I can think of no one better suited to bringing biomedical innovation and policy closer in line,” she wrote in her endorsement letter for Rekhi. “Spending two years in the U.K. will not simply benefit his own research career and global understanding, but enable the U.S. and the U.K. to address more effectively contemporary challenges in ensuring that scientific advancements are both accessible and understood around the world.”

Quenemoen said the Marshall Scholarship is “a distinct honor awarded to young American scholars and leaders who promise to make a significant impact in the world and strengthen U.S.-U.K. relations.”

Rehki, from Katy, Texas, was a 2011 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar and a 2012 Harry S. Truman Scholar. He has conducted bioengineering research on the computational modeling of angiogenesis under the direction of Assistant Professor of Bioengineering Amina Qutub at Rice since his freshman year. He is second author on papers submitted to Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology and the Journal of Theoretical Biology and has presented at several national conferences. He is also first author on two pending book chapters.

Interested in science and health policy, Rekhi has held internships at the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and at the World Health Organization in Geneva. He and Neal Lane, a former director of the NSF who is now a senior fellow in science and technology policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Malcolm Gillis University Professor at Rice, co-authored a paper on qualitative metrics in science policy that has been published in Issues in Science and Technology.

As the health policy senior fellow for the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, Rekhi paired with the nonprofit Young Invincibles to distribute a health care tool kit to more than 300,000 graduating college seniors. His bioengineering design team held a provisional patent on a cellphone-based bilirubinometer, and he worked in Malawi this past summer with Beyond Traditional Borders to field-test and implement several global health technologies.

Rekhi won the Rice Envision Grant and the Community Service Grant to create the Research Mentorship Initiative, which pairs underserved students at Houston’s Milby High School on research projects with Rice undergraduates.

For a complete list of the 2013 Marshall Scholars, visit www.marshallscholarship.org/scholars/.


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Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/AboutRice.

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About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.