Rice University bioengineer and global-health pioneer Rebecca Richards-Kortum is named a prestigious MacArthur Fellow. The founder and director of Rice’s award-winning Rice 360° Institute for Global Health and professor of bioengineering and electrical and computer engineering, she is the first Houston scientist, the first Houston woman and the first Rice faculty member to win the award.\
Commonly referred to as “genius grants,” MacArthur Fellows represent all disciplines and are chosen for exceptional creativity, as demonstrated through a track record of significant achievement, and manifest promise for important future advances.
“Dr. Richards-Kortum represents the very best that universities offer to the world: a brilliant mind married to deep compassion and an unending work ethic,” said Provost Marie Lynn Miranda. “Her innovative work on affordable technologies for health care in low-resource settings is literally making the difference between life and death for children around the world.”
Richards-Kortum directs the Rice 360° Institute for Global Health, which offers innovative undergraduate programs that engage students to design and implement new technologies to solve actual global-health challenges. Since 2006, Rice 360° has partnered with Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, to evaluate dozens of affordable health care technologies developed by Rice students, including several that are commercially available worldwide and more that are widely used throughout Malawi.