Three Harvard University students and one Massachusetts Institute of Technology student were among the 32 U.S. winners of this year's Rhodes scholarships.
The local Rhodes scholars have worked to stave off pandemics, to develop clean water systems around the globe, to conduct research on the molecular biology of tuberculosis, and to research the molecular basis of glioblastoma.
Harvard seniors Zachary Frankel, Baltazar Zavala, and Daniel Lage, along with MIT senior Jennifer Lai, will be heading to the University of Oxford, for graduate studies, paid for by the scholarship set up by Cecil Rhodes in his will in the early 1900s.
Laura Nelson, of Westwood, a senior at the University of Virginia, and Mark Jia of Waltham, were also among the region's recipients of the top prize -- selected out of a pool of more than 1,500 students nationwide.
In a statement issued as part of announcing this year's recipients, Elliot F. Gerson, the American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust said the scholarships are "the oldest and best known award for international study, and arguably the most famous academic award available to American college graduates."
The scholarship amounts to roughly $50,000 per year for the students selected, he said.
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