CPB concentrator Brian Wee (‘23) has been selected as a Rhodes Scholar. The prestigious Rhodes Scholarship chooses 32 US students each year and supports their graduate studies at the University of Oxford.
Next fall, Wee will read for an MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine, and, in the following year, he will pursue either an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy or a Master in Public Policy (MPP) degree. These studies will contribute toward Wee’s long-term goals of becoming a physician or a policy leader and advancing global health in communities around the world. His journey to Oxford will be his first time traveling to Europe.
“I was incredibly honored, grateful, and excited to receive the Rhodes, and it definitely means so much to me!” Wee says. “Throughout my life, I have always tried my absolute best to uplift others and help them realize their full potential, and this scholarship was an immensely humbling recognition of those efforts. When I won the scholarship, I was overcome by shock, and I thought back to all the fantastic people who have supported me throughout my life. Since I know the Rhodes is an unparalleled opportunity, I am eager to use my next two years at Oxford to continue advocating for individuals throughout the world and meet other change-makers who I might collaborate with in the future.”
Wee adds that his studies at Harvard have deepened both his understanding of multidisciplinary public health issues and whetted his curiosity about medical research. “Being a CPB concentrator and part of the MCB community allowed me to gain so much insight into how both wet- and dry-lab research is conducted, and how my efforts as a physician-scientist can have real-world impact,” he says. “I have also loved getting to know my fellow MCB and CPB concentrators, and I am quite grateful to Irina, Dominic, and Monique for all of their events and support of the MCB community.”
Wee is excited about the year ahead and filled with gratitude toward the people in his life. “Foremost, I am appreciative of my parents, who immigrated to the United States shortly before I was born and endured unimaginable hardship–I am especially grateful to my mother, who passed away when I was young but whose memory continues to motivate me throughout my life, not to mention my father who sacrificed so much in order to support me throughout my childhood,” he says. “As well, I am so thankful to my aunt, uncle, and cousins.”
“I am also immensely thankful for my mentor Pardis Sabeti, my advisor Oona Ceder, my Lowell Tutor Brittany Ellis, and all of my amazing professors and teachers,” Wee adds. “Finally, I would like to thank all of my amazing friends and peers at Harvard–especially in the World Pre-Health Conference, the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, and the Harvard PreMedical Society–who have accompanied me through all of my extracurriculars, classes, and more. Being at Harvard has been an unbelievable experience, and I’m excited to continue working hard to honor the support that I have received throughout my life.”