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Indo-US scientist gets US presidential award

PTI

Washington: An Indian-American biology professor is among 15 scientists who have been selected for a prestigious US presidential award for excellence in the field of science, mathematics and engineering mentoring.

Murty S Kambhampati, a professor of biology at Southern University at New Orleans will receive the award at a White House ceremony later this year. Kambhampati has been a mentor of high school and undergraduate students in research and successfully boosted graduation rates, the White House said in a statement.

"These educators are helping to cultivate America's future scientists, engineers and mathematicians," US President Barack Obama said. "They open new worlds to their students and give them the encouragement they need to learn, discover and innovate. That's transforming those students' futures, and our nation's future, too," he said.

Another person selected from Indian subcontinent, Sri Lankan-origin Tilak Ratnanather is an associate professor in the biomedical engineering department of the Johns Hopkins University, Maryland. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) is awarded by the White House to individuals and organisations to recognise the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering.

Candidates for the award are nominated by colleagues, administrators, and students in their home institutions or through professional affiliations. In addition to being honoured at the White House, recipients receive awards of USD 10,000 from the National Science Foundation.

Kambhampati, a PhD holder from both Jackson State University in Environmental Science and Andhra University in Ecology is an active research mentor for undergraduates. He has won several awards for his work as a mentor, including the National Role Model Faculty Award from Minority Access, in 2008. His current research interests include shape analysis of brain structures in schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, depression, and deafness in addition to mathematical and computational problems in cochlear and cardiac physiology, according to his university profile.
 

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