Recognizing Outstanding Undergraduate Research

By Sara Nelson, Administrative Assistant, UROP, UAAP

The Randolph G. Wei UROP Award is presented each spring to the undergraduate who has made the most outstanding contribution in undergraduate research at the interface of the life sciences and engineering. The Wei Award Committee selected two recipients for 2009:

  • Cassie Liu, ’10
  • Mahesh Vidula, ’11

Cassie conducted research in Professor Guarente’s lab for over two years on osteoporosis and helped demonstrate the role of the SirT1 gene in bone protection against age-related osteoporosis. Her work has led to co-authorship on two scientific posters presented at international conferences.

Mahesh has conducted research in the Khademhosseini lab since spring 2008 on microfluidic and tissue engineering projects. His research has led to publications in Lab on A Chip, the top journal in the microfluidic research field, and the journal of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. Mahesh was also awarded the ‘Undergraduate Student Design and Research Award’ from the National Biomedical Engineering Society.

The Peter J. Eloranta Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships are awarded to MIT undergraduates for interesting and novel research of student-initiated ideas developed outside the normal curriculum. Each fellowship provides $6,000 for the students to conduct their summer research. The Eloranta Fellowship Committee selected:

  • Dhaval Adjodah ‘11, Creating Environmental Indices from Population Models of Ecosystems using Methods from Nonlinear Dynamics & Chaos Theory for Improved Environmental Conservation & Policy Making
  • Katie Everett ‘12, A Sexual-Network-Based Model Evaluating the Effect of Human Papillomavirus Vaccination on Infection Prevalence in an Adolescent Population
  • Raqeebul I. Ketan ‘11, iSchool for a Better Learning Experience
  • S. Cory Li ‘12, Automated Directed Evolution: A New Tool for Rapid Optimization of Genetic Circuitry
  • Harrison O’Hanley ‘11, Designing a Thermoelectric Generator to Provide Light to Developing World Residences
  • Tina Srivastava ‘09, Multi-Media Report, Revealing the Link between the East and the West