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Five Indian American students win Soros Fellowships for 2011

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 24 March 2011, 20:48 Hrs
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Washington: Five Indian American students have won the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, worth about $90,000 over two years.

Established in 1997, the Soros awards are given to 30 students each year with a trust of $50 million. The motive behind the awards is to highlight the contributions of new immigrants to the country. The fellowships are given to students pursuing graduate degrees, irrespective of field or university. This year, 30 fellows were chosen from more than 1,000 applicants.

California born Aadel Chaudhuri, 28, is doing his Ph.D. in biology at California Institute of Technology. His research focuses on small RNAs in cancer and the immune system. He completed two BS degrees at MIT, one in electrical engineering and computer science, and the other one in biology.

24 years old Deepa Galaiya has completed two years at Stanford Medical School and is currently on a Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellowship. At Stanford, in her research to date, Galaiya has constructed a lead biosensor and a transcription amplifier; designed a walker that minimizes the chances of patient falls, and worked on development and regeneration of inner ear hair cells in models of deafness. She will use her Soros Fellowship to support the remainder of her medical school education.

Houston born Samir Mayekar worked on the Obama for America campaign as its budget manager, managing about $600 million in campaign contributions. He has also assisted the chief financial officer in operating the first major presidential campaign to exist outside the public financing system. He is now deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Samir graduated summa cum laude from
Northwestern University in 2006 with a BA in political science and international studies.

25 years old Vivek Ramaswamy was born in Cincinnati, and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard in 2007 with a major in biology. He was chairman of the Harvard Political Union and served as one of three undergraduates chosen for an advisory board to select the current president of Harvard. He co-founded StudentBusinesses.com, a technology startup company which connected entrepreneurs with professional resources via the internet.

Born in Morristown, New Jersey, 25 years old Shayank Sarkar earned undergraduate degrees in applied mathematics and statistics. He served as a Rhodes Scholar and earned M.Sc. degrees with distinction at Oxford in evidence-based social work and development economics. He is currently pursuing both a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard and a law degree from Yale.

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