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A 17-year-old Indian-American student has won the top US award worth USD 250,000 for her exceptional maths and science ability.
Indrani Das was among the five Indian-origin students who were in the top ten finalists of the annual Regeneron Science Talent Search Awards.
Indrani- a resident of New Jersey, bagged the top honour for her research on neurodegenerative diseases. Her study involved a possible approach to treating the death of neurones due to brain injury.
Another Indian-American student Arjun Ramani won USD 150,000.
The 18-year-old from Indiana bagged the prize for blending the mathematical field of graph theory with computer programming to answer questions about networks.
17-year-old Archana Verma of New York, received a $90,000 award for her study of the molecular orbital energy dynamics of dyes, which may someday result in windows that produce solar energy.
Prathik Naidu, 18, of Virginia, received a $70,000 award for his creation of a new machine learning software to study 3-D interactions of the human genome in cancer.
17-year-old Vrinda Madan received a $50,000 award for her study of 24 potential compounds for the treatment of malaria, in which she found two potential candidates that appear to target the disease-causing organism in a novel way and may warrant further study.
The forty finalists bagged a total of $1.8 million in prize money.
"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 George D Yancopoulos, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron.
It is the oldest US science competition for students, earning the moniker of “junior Nobel prize”, and is now sponsored by the medical company, Regeneron, in association with the Society for Science and the Public. Twelve of the contest alumni have won Nobel Prizes.