Biomedical Ph.D. candidate receives Philanthropic Educational Organization International Scholar Award

Browning _Portrait (2)Mary Beth Browning, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University, is one of 85 women doctoral candidates from across the United States and Canada to receive a 2012-2013 Philanthropic Educational Organization International Scholar Award. She was given the additional distinction of being named the Presidential Endowed Scholar, one of eight endowed scholarships awarded each year.

P.E.O. is a philanthropic organization that provides financial aid to promote and celebrate women in education. The organization’s chapter in Conroe, Texas interviews women for the Scholar Award at Texas A&M University each year and was responsible for nominating Browning for the competitive merit-based scholarship that includes a one-time gift of $15,000. The Presidential Endowed Scholar Award is selected in honor of the service of the P.E.O president.

Browning shares the unique bond of being a part of the same organization with her late grandmother, Billie Claire Browning, who was in a different Chapter of P.E.O in Plainview, Texas.

"Being chosen as a P.E.O. endowed scholar was a huge honor. I know that I wouldn't be where I am today without the incredible mentors and support system that I have developed in my time here at Texas A&M,” Browning noted.

Mary Beth is a fourth-year graduate student in the laboratory of Elizabeth Cosgriff-Hernandez, where she is working on developing a small-diameter vascular graft for bypass surgeries. Specifically, she is studying cell-material interactions with bioactive hydrogels to provide an inner, blood-contacting layer that is resistant to thrombosis and intimal hyperplasia. She was selected as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow as a first year graduate student, and her work on vascular grafts has resulted in three first-author refereed journal articles.

Since beginning graduate school at Texas A&M, Browning has been active in service as well as research. She was responsible for jump-starting middle school outreach activities between the Cosgriff-Hernandez lab and College Station Middle School. She was also the lead student organizer for Biomaterials Day at Texas A&M in 2010 and was involved in the start-up of the Texas A&M Student Chapter of the Society for Biomaterials.

Mary Beth received her bachelor’s degree in Engineering Science from Trinity University in 2009, where she was a Trustee’s Scholar.