The 1997 Randolph G. Wei UROP Award was presented this year to Avital Rodal, a senior in chemical engineering and biology from Ottawa, Ontario, for "outstanding work at the interface of the life sciences and engineering."
Ms. Rodal was nominated for the award by Professor Anthony Sinskey and Dr. Phillip Lessard of the Department of Biology, who lauded her ability "to integrate the learning and experience she has accumulated in her coursework with real problems in the laboratory."
She "has proven to be an inspiration and a great source of fresh ideas in research" and has also engendered poignant praise from her colleagues for her leadership, creativity, energy and academic achievements. Ms. Rodal will attend the University of California at Berkeley in the fall to pursue graduate studies.
Ms. Rodal was selected for the award by the Wei Award Committee, which is comprised of Professors Leonard Guarente of biology (chair), Charles Cooney of chemical engineering, Phillip Sharp (head of biology), and Institute Professor Daniel I.C. Wang, along with UROP Director Norma McGavern and UROP Administrator Michael Bergren. The award is given in memory of Randolph G. Wei, a member of the Class of 1987.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 4, 1997.