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Bioengineering graduate student Rebecca Dahlin chosen for P.E.O. Scholar Award

Grant supports tissue engineering methods to heal articular cartilage defects

By Shawn Hutchins
Rice BIOE News

Rebecca DahlinRice 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. A Georgetown, TX chapter of the organization, Chapter II, 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, a third-year bioengineering graduate student, in Professor Antonios Mikos' research group 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. I am thrilled for her and the tremendous opportunity provided to her through the P.E.O. Scholar Awards Program," said Mikos, Rice's Louis Calder Professor of Bioengineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and director of Rice's Center for Excellence in Tissue Engineering.

Dahlin is also a student of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Med Into Grad program run by Rice and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The training program in Translational Cancer Diagnostics and Therapeutics Research for Bioengineers and Biophysicists integrates cancer biology, clinical medicine, translational research, and bioengineering.

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 SYIS-Americas council treasurer and she served as a student co-chair for sessions at the December 2011 TERMIS-NA Annual Meeting.

Dahlin has a B.S. 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.