Normally awarded to one student per year, the 1996 Randolph G. Wei UROP Award was presented this year to two students, Ashish R. Patel and Jason A. Wertheim, both seniors in chemical engineering.
Both were nominated by Dr. Robert Langer, Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering. They were selected by the Wei Award Committee for "outstanding work at the interface of the life sciences and engineering."
Mr. Patel of Burlington, MA, has participated in several projects in Professor Langer's laboratory during the past two years. He recently co-authored a paper dealing with the synergistic effects of chemical enhancers and therapeutic ultrasound on transdermal drug delivery, which was submitted for publication in Pharmaceutical Research. According to Dr. Langer, Ashish has been "exceptional in understanding the objectives of his research and developing means to achieve them."
Professor Langer said Mr. Wertheim of Los Angeles is a "remarkably unique student and a natural born researcher." A developer of health-related biomedical technologies, Mr. Wertheim has been awarded fellowships by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. He has also worked extensively as a MedLINK, an undergraduate liaison between the student population and MIT's Medical Department. According to Dr. Margaret Ross of the Medical Department, who also nominated him, he is "unusual at MIT for the breadth and depth of his work and community involvements."
The award is given in memory of Randolph G. Wei, a member of the MIT Class of 1987.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 5, 1996.