Three Stanford students named 2024 Rhodes Scholars
Kate Bradley, Sid Dhawan, and Pranav Gurusankar will pursue graduate degrees at the University of Oxford in England, studying energy systems, clinical neurosciences, and applied digital health..
The Rhodes Trust announced its newest cohort of international Rhodes Scholars, which includes Stanford students Kate Bradley, Sid Dhawan, and Pranav Gurusankar.
The Rhodes Scholarship was first awarded in 1902, making it one of the oldest international scholarship programs. Rhodes Scholars receive full academic funding for two or more years of post-graduate study in any field at Oxford University in England, as well as a stipend.
Following are the 2024 Rhodes Scholars from Stanford.
Kate Bradley is from Hong Kong. She is pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Earth systems and international relations with a focus on Earth sciences and energy. As a Rhodes Scholar, she will pursue master’s degrees in energy systems and economics at Oxford University.
“I’m thrilled to join a group of motivated scholars at the Rhodes House,” said Bradley. “I’m able to do this in part thanks to some incredibly supportive Stanford professors – Lynn Orr and Jean Oi, my two advisors, and Rob Dunbar, Richard Nevle, and Steve Westly.”
Bradley was a visiting student at Oxford in 2020. She said she’s eager to return and engage with the research community and explore more of the school’s culture.
“It’s obviously a very special place, and I’m excited to return and revive, among many things, my severe addiction to certain local bakeries,” she said.
At Stanford, Bradley studies energy technologies and resource security. She said the Doerr School of Sustainability has been an invaluable part of her education and fosters a driven and innovative community. She hopes her graduate studies at Oxford will deepen her understanding of how to scale energy solutions.
“Oxford is an especially exciting place to further my learning goals because it is home to the highly productive Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, which has a dedicated China Energy Research Programme that I’m interested in joining,” she said.
Sid Suri Dhawan graduated from Stanford in 2022 with a BS (Honors) in bioengineering and will graduate with an MS in biology in June 2024. At Oxford, he will pursue a DPhil in clinical neurosciences.
“I am so grateful to all my faculty mentors – professors Tarik Massoud, Nicolas Grillet, Susan McConnell, and Thomas Südhof – and the Office of Global Scholarships,” Dhawan said. “Their incredible support was instrumental to my receiving this opportunity.”
Dhawan is pursuing a career as a physician-scientist. He said that neurological disorders affect almost a billion people globally. By advancing our understanding of the brain at the molecular level, he aims to develop precision therapeutics for his future patients.
At Stanford, Dhawan worked in three labs, producing multiple first-author neuroscience publications. Committed to inclusive health care, he founded the nonprofit Maanvi, which advocates for menstrual equity, and the science education program Discovering Science Together India, both of which have reached thousands of people. He was a teaching assistant for six Stanford courses and earned the Centennial TA Award. In addition to his academic and professional interests, Dhawan is an abstract visual artist and has exhibited his work at venues across the Bay Area.
“Oxford will provide rigorous scientific training while the Rhodes will offer an unparalleled network of mentorship and collaborations to translate my research into advancements in medicine,” he said.
After completing his DPhil at Oxford, Dhawan intends to return to the United States for medical school.
Pranav Gurusankar is from Singapore. He will graduate from Stanford University in June 2024 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science, specializing in artificial intelligence. At Oxford, he will pursue master’s degrees in public policy and applied digital health.
“I am truly humbled to have this opportunity to learn in the vibrant new environment that Oxford presents, and to work with people from an incredible breadth of backgrounds,” Gurusankar said. “I’m endlessly thankful for the support of my family, friends, mentors and advisors. I hope to use this platform to amplify the impact that I can have on society – and on health care in particular.”
Gurusankar is interested in health care and medical technology and has conducted research in bioelectronics under chemical engineering Professor Zhenan Bao. As a member of the CHOIR Mobile team, he researches digital health interventions for chronic pain under the mentorship of Professor Sean Mackey at Stanford School of Medicine. Gurusankar also conducted cancer biology research at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore under Professor Koji Itahana. At Stanford, he is a recipient of the 2023 Frederick E. Terman Engineering Scholastic Award.
Gurusankar is on the national leadership team for the United Students for Veterans’ Health. He leads a buddy support program for brain injury survivors within the group Stanford Synapse, and is co-president of Healing Strokes, which serves stroke survivors nationwide. He also runs public health education workshops as an educator in the PEERs program at Stanford. Gurusankar served as co-president of Stanford Students in Biodesign & Biopharma and Stanford Health Innovations in Future Technologies (SHIFT), which are Stanford’s largest medical technology and digital health student groups.
“I hope that my studies at Oxford will allow me to understand the public impact of AI developments in society and how this will affect medical care. I’m hoping I can use this knowledge to bring large-scale improvements in health care delivery,” Gurusankar said.
Gurusankar hopes to pursue a career as a physician-scientist. After completing his studies at Oxford, he intends to return to the United States for medical school.
U.S. Rhodes Scholars are chosen in a two-stage process. Applicants, who apply as residents of one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or the U.S. territories, must be endorsed by their college or university. Finalists are interviewed individually by district committees the two weekends before Thanksgiving; winners are announced Saturday evening of the holiday weekend.
International Rhodes candidates apply through their country’s constituency process that may have a different timeline.
Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead.
Stanford students interested in global scholarships and Stanford faculty interested in nominating students for such awards should contact Diane Murk, manager of the Office of Global Scholarships at Bechtel International Center, at email@example.com.