Indian-American Teen Wins Top Science Prize

March 17, 2017 04:29
Indian-American Teen Wins Top Science Prize

An Indian-American teenager, Indrani Das, won the top, $250,000 prize in the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search competition for her research on treating the brain injuries and diseases.

Also another Indian-American, Arjun Ramani, took the third place in the competition, which carries a prize of $150,000, for his project on the networks using mathematical field of graph theory and computer programming.

It is the oldest US science competition for the students and is now sponsored by a medical company, Regeneron, in association with the Society for Science and the Public (SSP).

Nicknamed as the "Junior Nobel Prize", it was originally sponsored by the Westinghouse in the year1942 and Intel took it up from the year 1998 till last year. Twelve previous contestants of the competition have won the Nobel Prizes.

Archana Verma took the fifth place with $90,000 for the research which could lead to the development of windows that could produce solar power, Prathik Naidu received the seventh place with for the software which study human genomes and cancer, and Vrinda Madan got the ninth place with of $50,000 for the study of medications for malaria.

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Eight other Indian-origin students were among the 40 finalists, each of whom received prizes of $25,000 in the competition.

SSP President Maya Ajmera said that the finalists "are all poised to become our future scientific leaders".

More that 1,700 students took part in the science contest.

Das's research showed a way for increasing the survival rate of neurons affected by the brain injury or neurodegenerative disease.

Madan's research is of the more immediate interest to India, where a 2015 World Health Organisation estimate said that there were 13 million cases of malaria.

She studied the 24 compounds of malaria treatment and identified two that "appear to target the disease-causing organism in a novel way," SSP added.

Mrudula Duddempudi.

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