- Associated Press - Sunday, November 22, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Princeton University student from suburban St. Louis researching nerve regeneration potential and vaccine production and distribution barriers in Africa has been selected as a Rhodes scholar.

Richard J Lu, who is majoring in chemistry, is among 32 American men and women chosen as Rhodes scholars. The scholarships cover all expenses for two or three years of study at Oxford University starting next October. The winners, who were announced early Sunday, were chosen from 869 applicants who were endorsed by 316 colleges and universities.

Lu, of Ballwin, Missouri, plans to study international health, tropical medicine and global health sciences at Oxford. He later plans to attend medical school.

“One day, as a physician, I will always marvel at treating patients and seeing them recover,” Lu wrote in his Rhodes application. “But I am driven to go beyond the medicine, to empower all individuals to have access to care. Without a doubt, the Rhodes Scholarship offers the perfect path for me to fulfill that life vision devoted to social justice through the health system.”

The university said in a statement that Lu traveled in 2014 to Kakamega, Kenya, to help a clinic transition from paper to electronic records and conduct community outreach efforts. He decided to stay and continue his work even after contracting malaria.

For one of his senior theses, he conducted research this past summer at the Biovac Institute in Cape Town, South Africa, which works to develop and manufacture vaccines. And since 2011, he has conducted research at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, the release said.

Lu also has been a residential college adviser and served in student government.

The American students will join an international group of scholars chosen from 16 jurisdictions around the world. A total of nearly 90 scholars are selected worldwide each year. The scholarships are worth about $50,000 per year.

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Online:

Rhodes Scholars: https://tinyurl.com/pqbcz4p

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