Washington: Indian-American professor Dr. Rakesh K. Jain and 16 other scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and innovators will receive the National Medals of Science and Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama next Friday.
Jain, a B. Tech in Chemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur, and a professor at Harvard Medical School and director of tumour biology laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital will receive the National Medal of Science.
Awarded annually, the Medal of Science recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science, engineering, and mathematics.
The National Medal of Technology and Innovation recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen its technological workforce.
“Science and technology are fundamental to solving some of our nation’s biggest challenges,” Obama said, according to a White House announcement last month.
“The knowledge produced by these Americans today will carry our country’s legacy of innovation forward and continue to help countless others around the world. Their work is a testament to American ingenuity.”
Jain is regarded as a pioneer in the area of tumour micro-environment and widely recognized for his seminal discoveries in tumour biology, drug delivery, in vivo imaging, bioengineering, and bench-to-bedside translation.
These include uncovering the barriers to the delivery and efficacy of molecular and nano-medicines in tumours; developing new strategies to overcome these barriers; and then translating these strategies from bench to bedside.
A mentor to more than 200 master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral students from over a dozen different disciplines, he has received more than 75 awards from engineering and medical professional societies/institutions.
Jain is a member of all three branches of the US National Academies – the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences – and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In 2014, he was chosen as one of 50 Oncology Luminaries on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
In 2015, he received honorary doctorates from Duke University, KU Leuven, Belgium and IIT-Kanpur, India.
Jain received his bachelor’s degree in 1972 from IIT, Kanpur, and his MS and PhD degrees in 1974 and 1976 from the University of Delaware, all in chemical engineering.