The foundation awards only 15 graduate student fellowships per year. They are among the nation's most prestigious and competitive fellowships, with awards to fewer than 3 percent of those who apply. Rice is one of only 43 research universities whose students are eligible for Hertz fellowships. The prestigious awards are available only to students studying engineering or applied sciences, with a strong emphasis on the physical sciences.
Hoben, who earned her bachelor's degree in chemistry from Rice in 2001, is enrolled in the Medical Scientist Training Program, an elite program offered by Baylor College of Medicine and Rice that allows students to undertake Ph.D. studies from Rice at the same time that they are earning M.D. degrees from Baylor. Hoben completed her first two years of medical school at Baylor last year and began working on her Ph.D. in bioengineering last fall.
A student in the laboratory of Kyriacos A. Athanasiou, the Karl F. Hasselmann Professor of Bioengineering and director of the Musculoskeletal Bioengineering Laboratory, Hoben hopes to complete her M.D.-Ph.D. around 2009.
"I have known Gwen for six years, ever since she was a sophomore student," said Athanasiou, whose lab conducts basic research on the healing processes of cartilage and applied research into methods of growing tissues. "Through this time she has demonstrated consistency, purpose, and outstanding performance. As she epitomizes excellence and rigor, I can't think of anyone more deserving for this great honor."
Hoben said the Hertz fellowship gives her more options to pursue the research that appeals to her.
"It gives me a little bit more freedom," she said of the fellowship. "When I first arrived six months ago, I was associated with a specific grant that focused on engin
Contact: Jade Boyd