Indian-origin girl won the most prestigious science and math competition in the U.S.March 17, 2017 10:46
An Indian-origin girl has won the top award worth 250,000 USD in the most prestigious science and math competition in the United States, for her research on preventing death of neurons due to brain injuries (Nerurodegenerative diseases).
17-year-old Indrani Das, of New Jersey, along with four other Indian-origin students were in the top-10 finalists to be honored at the annual Regeneron Science Talent Search Awards Gala, for their projects demonstrating exceptional scientific and mathematical ability.
There were total 40 finalists, who took more than 1.8 million USD in awards.
A contributor to neuron death is astrogliosis, it is a condition occurs when cells called astrocyptes react to injury by growing, diving and reducing their uptake of glutamate, which in excess toxic to neurons.
Das showed in her research that exosomes isolated from astrocytes transfected with micro RNA-124a both improved astrocyte uptake of glutamate and increased neuron survival.
18-year-old Arjun Ramani, who is a student from Indiana, has won the third place honors worth 150,000 USD for blending the mathematical field of graph theory with computer programming to answer questions about networks.
These questions require statistical comparisons to 100’s or 1000’s of random graphs, a process that takes a lot of time.
Ramani developed an algorithm that accelerated the process by reducing the time the time that is required to generate these graphs.
The president and chief scientific officer of Regeneron congratulated the winners of Regeneron Science Talent Search 2017.
"My experience as a Science Talent Search winner led me to embark on a career in science, and I hope it will inspire these exceptional young scientists to become the next generation of innovators that will improve the world and solve some of our most pressing challenges as a society," said Yancopoulos.
17-year-old Archana Verma, from New York, received a 90,000 USD award for her research on the molecular orbital energy dynamics of dyes.
18-year-old, Prathik Naidu from Virginia, received a 70,000 USD award for his invention of a new machine learning software to study 3D interactions of the human genome in cancer.
17-year-old Vrinda Madan, from Florida, received a 50,000 USD award for her study of 24 potential compounds for treatment of malaria, which found two potential candidates that appear to target the disease causing organism in a novel way and warrant further study.