Six Indian American Scientists to be honored by Barack Obama

Obama is the right man at the right time

WASHINGTON:  Six Indian-Americans are among a talented group of 106 scientists and engineers who will be honoured by US President Barack Obama with a prestigious award, the highest US government prize for young independent researchers.

The Indian Americans selected for the Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers are Milind Kulkarni (Purdue University), Kiran Musunuru (Harvard University), Sachin Patel (Vanderbilt University Medical Centre), Vikram Shyam (NASA), Rahul Mangharam (University of Pennsylvania) and Shwetak Patel (University of Washington), according to a White House statement.

“These early-career scientists are leading the way in our efforts to confront and understand challenges from climate change to our health and wellness,” President Obama said, who will present the awards at a ceremony this spring.

“We congratulate these accomplished individuals and encourage them to continue to serve as an example of the incredible promise and ingenuity of the American people,” he said.

Established in 1996, the Presidential Early Career Awards highlight the key role that the Administration places in encouraging and accelerating American innovation to grow economy and tackle greatest challenges.

Milind Kulkarni, an associate professor with the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University.

His research focuses on Programming Languages and Compilers that support efficient programming and high performance on emerging complex architectures.

Dr. Vikram Shyam, a technical innovation in fundamental aeronautics; at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, is among the six NASA scientists to receive this award. Shwetak Patel, Washington Research Foundation Entrepreneurship Endowed Professor in Computer Science and Engineering and Electrical Engineering, Patel, is a nationally recognised expert in sensor systems research.

Rahul Mangharam from University of Pennsylvania was selected for inventing a new formal methodology to test and verify the correct operation of medical device software, saving lives and reducing care costs, the National Science Foundation said.

Dr. Kiran Musunuru, Assistant Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and Associate Physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has developed a “genome editing” approach for permanently reducing cholesterol levels in mice.

Sachin Patel, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Vanderbilt University Medical Centre, through his research is offering a glimmer of hope to alcoholics who find it hard to remain sober.

“The awardees are outstanding scientists and engineers,” said the National Science Foundation Director France Cordova.

“They are teacher-scholars who are developing new generations of outstanding scientists and engineers and ensuring this nation is a leading innovator,” he said.

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