Parkway Central graduate from Chesterfield named Rhodes Scholar

Joel Currier
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A Chesterfield woman and senior at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been named one of the country’s 32 Rhodes Scholars.

Anisha Gururaj, 21, a 2011 Parkway Central High School graduate who is majoring in chemical and biological engineering and minoring in energy studies at MIT, found out Saturday night that she had been selected from 877 applicants nominated by colleges and universities.

The winners are announced by the Rhodes Trust. Gururaj is the only winner from Missouri and one of three who are attending MIT.

Gururaj said she will use the scholarship to pursue master’s degrees in biomedical engineering and public policy at Oxford University in England next fall.

“I’m really excited about what lies ahead,” Gururaj said. “I still can’t believe that it’s happening.”

She said her career interests include developing low-cost biomedical devices for the United States and the developing world. Gururaj said she and three other students designed a low-cost, blood-warming device, which doesn’t require electricity or battery power, to help people suffering from hypothermia caused by traumatic injuries. The device could help save troops wounded in battle from dying of hypothermia.

“There hasn’t really been a technology that has solved this problem on the battlefield,” she said.

Gururaj has also done research in Chile to investigate how disease diagnostic kits can be used in rural settings.

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