New York — The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation recently announced that nine Indian American academics were among the selection of 126 outstanding U.S. and Canadian researchers named as recipients of the 2015 Sloan Research Fellowships.
Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders. Fellows receive $50,000 to further their research.
Those named, and their research field, include Nandini Ananth, Cornell University, chemistry; Prabal Dutta, University of Michigan, computer science; Shyam Gollakota, University of Washington, computer science; and Shantanu Jadhav, Brandeis University, neuroscience.
Also named were Hemamala Karunadasa, Stanford University, chemistry; and Neal Mankad, University of Illinois at Chicago, chemistry; Suresh Naidu, Columbia University, economics; Padmini Rangamani, University of California, San Diego, computational and evolutionary molecular biology; and Vivek Shende, University of California, Berkeley, math.
Ananth, an assistant professor in chemistry and chemical biology at Cornell University, was born in Chennai, and in 2001 she joined the masters program in chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras.
There she developed a strong interest in quantum mechanics and carried out research on implementing logic gates for quantum computing using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance under the guidance of N. Chandrakumar.
Dutta is a doctoral student in the Computer Science Division of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at the University of California, Berkeley.
His research is funded through a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation, a Microsoft Research Fellowship, and a Graduate Student Researcher appointment supported by the National Science Foundation and the DARPA Networked Embedded Systems Technology program.
Gollakota is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, where he leads the Networks and Mobile Systems Lab and work on various topics including computer networks, human-computer interaction and mobile health.
Gollakota earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his B.Tech. degree from IIT Madras.
An assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, Jadhav came to Brandeis from the University of California, San Francisco, and studies how the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex — two critical brain regions — interact and communicate with each other to support learning, memory and memory-guided decision-making.
Jadhav hopes his research will provide insight into memory and learning as well as neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, including dementia, Alzheimer's, depression and schizophrenia.
Karunadasa is an assistant professor in inorganic materials science at Sanford University. In her research, she targets materials for applications in renewable energy and pollution management: sorbents for environmental pollutants, phosphors for solid-state lighting, electrodes for secondary batteries, absorbers for solar cells, etc.
Mankad grew up in Williamsport, Pa., before attending college at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a member of the class of 2004. Beginning in July 2012, he has been an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His group’s research interests at UIC are in the fields of synthetic inorganic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, and homogeneous catalysis.
An assistant professor in economics and international and public affairs at Columbia University, Naidu teaches economics, political economy and development. Naidu previously served as a Harvard Academy Junior Scholar at Harvard University, and as an instructor in economics and political economy at the University of California-Berkeley.
Naidu holds a BMath from the University of Waterloo, an MA in economics from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California-Berkeley.
Rangamani is an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of California, San Diego, where her research is focused on understanding the design principles of biological systems.
Rangamani was a Chancellor’s postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley in 2013-14. She earned her Ph.D. in biological sciences in 2010 at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.
Shende is an assistant professor of mathematics, and studies algebraic geometry, singularities, knot invariants, representation theory and contact geometry at the University of California, Berkeley.