2 Indian-American teenagers, Indrani Das and Arjun Ramani won the first and third prize respectively in the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search competition, often nicknamed the "Junior Nobel Prize". Also pictured are Aaron Yeiser (left), 18, of Pennsylvania, who won 2nd Place and $175,000, and Arjun Ramani (right), 18, of IN, who won 3rd Place and $150,000.
Almost one-third of the 40 finalists were Indian Americans (see previous India-West story). Forty finalists, including Das, were honored March 14 at the annual Regeneron Science Talent Search Awards Gala for their research projects demonstrating exceptional scientific and mathematical ability, taking home more than $1.8 million in awards, a Regeneron press release said. The topic of her research was the prevention of death of neurons due to different types of brain injuries or other neurodegenerative diseases.
In a model that was set up in the laboratory, the Indian-American teen Indrani Das showed that the isolated exosomes from astrocytes transfected with micro RNA-124a contributed both to the improvement of the uptake of astrocyte and increased the survival of the neurons to a great extent. Image SourceArjun was awarded $150,000 (₹98 lacs) for his project on computer programming and the use of the mathematical field of graph theory.
Typically, these questions require statistical comparisons to hundreds or thousands of random graphs, a process that can take a relatively long time. It is now sponsored by the medical company Regeneron.
A teenager of mere seventeen years old named Indrani Das has won the Topmost Science Award in Washington today.
Ajmera said, "I congratulate our finalists, who are all poised to become our future scientific leaders". "Proud that 5 out of top 10 are of Indian origin".
Vrinda Madan, 17, from Florida's Orlando received a $50,000 award for her study of 24 potential compounds for the treatment of malaria, in which she found the two potential candidates that appear to target the disease-causing organism in a novel way and may warrant further study.
The awards are presented annually by the Washington DC-based Society for Science & the Public, a non-profit organization that it says is "focused on promoting the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement".
The finalists come from 34 schools in 17 states.
While several bright young minds in the U.S. are getting opportunities like these to make a lasting difference in the fields of pure sciences and mathematics, those in India are being forced to use their intellect for nothing more than entrance exam preparation.