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MIT website reports death of medical student

A former Rhodes Scholar and first-year medical student at the joint Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program has died, according to a statement posted on MIT’s website.

The family of Eliana Hechter reported her death to school officials Thursday morning, according to the statement, which did not specify when or how she died.

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Spokespersons for MIT and Harvard said no further information was available. Cambridge Police declined to comment, referring a reporter to the MIT statement and a spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney said the office had no information. Hechter’s family could not be reached for comment.

Hechter won the Rhodes Scholarship in 2006, according to information posted to a biography page on the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT website. She studied at the University of Oxford, the Broad Institute, Harvard University, and the University of Washington, according to the website.

Rhodes Scholarships fund two or three years’ study at the University of Oxford in England. They are awarded based on rigorous criteria established by Cecil Rhodes, a British businessman, philanthropist, and colonizer in southern Africa, in his 1902 will.

According to the 2006 biography on the website of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars, Hechter’s proposed Oxford course was Mathematical Studies. She entered the University of Washington through the Early Entrance Program at age 14, and aspired to become a professor of mathematics. She was also a short-story writer, according to the website.

“We encourage students, administration, and faculty to come together as a community to remember Eliana as a student with tremendous promise, and one who has been lost far too soon,” read the statement about her death.

Globe correspondent Jeremy C. Fox contributed to this report. Evan Allen can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @evanmallen.
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