The 17-year-old Indian American, Ms. Indrani Das has emerged victorious in one of the most esteemed Science competitions in the world i.e. the Regeneron Science Talent Search Competition, hailed as the ‘Junior Nobel Prize’ for science. It is the oldest US science competition for students and is now sponsored by the medical firm, Regeneron, in association with the Society for Science and the Public (SSP).
The teenager from New Jersey was awarded $250,000 for her research on curing brain injuries and diseases. Das’s research showed a way for increasing the survival rate of neurons affected by brain injury or neurodegenerative disease. Another Indian-American, Arjun Ramani, took the third place, which carries a prize of $150,000, for his project on networks using the mathematical field of graph theory and computer programming. Eight other Indian-origin students were among the 40 finalists, each of whom received prizes of $25,000. More that 1,700 students took part in the contest.
According to the Society for Science and the Public President Maya Ajmera the finalists “are all poised to become our future scientific leaders”. Nicknamed the ‘Junior Nobel Prize’, it was originally sponsored by Westinghouse in 1942 and Intel took it up from 1998 till last year. Twelve of the contest alumni have won Nobel Prizes.