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Former Mora Grad (Lauren Jepson '12) Named One of 2012 Siebel Scholars

Kanabec County Times

January 5th 2012

Lauren (Hruby) Jepson, a Mora native, was named one of the 2012 Siebel Scholars for her work dedicated to building a better retinal prosthesis for the visually impaired.

The Siebel Scholars award will allow her to connect with topnotch researchers and entrepreneurs.

"I am excited to meet my fellow Siebel Scholars and explore potential research collaborations, both within and outside of my research area, at next month's Siebel Scholars Conference at Janelia Farm in Virginia," said Jepson in a statement on the UC San Diego's website.

Jepson is one of just five UC San Diego students to receive the award, which is given to select bioengineering Ph.D. students whose research is aimed at improving human health and comes with a $35,000 fellowship (graduate student scholarship).

Jepson graduated from Mora High School in 2001 and went on to study biochemistry at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, graduating in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

She spent one semester of her undergrad at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, which is where she met her husband, Tim Jepson.

After graduating from St. Thomas, she returned to New Zealand for a year and worked as an Assistant Research Fellow in a physiology lab at the University of Otago.

Jepson married Tim in May 2006, before returning to the United States.

"I started in the Bioengineering PhD program at UC San Diego in fall 2006, and hope to be finishing this coming spring," Jepson said. "While I'm officially a UCSD student, my actual research is performed at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. My thesis project is focused on improving electrical stimulation strategies for activating retinal cells, with the goal of using these strategies in retinal prostheses for the treatment of those blinded by retinal degenerations such as Retinitis Pigmentosa."

Jepson's primary career goal is to work in research and development at a company that develops neuroprosthetic or neuromodulation devices, such as deep-brain or spinal cord stimulation devices.

Jepson's mom is Renee Hruby, and her dad, Mark Hruby, passed away this spring. She has two brothers, Peter and Paul, who also graduated from Mora High School.

Read the original article here.