Indrani Das wins top prize in Regeneron Science Talent Search competition

Indian-American teenager Indrani Das (17) has won the top prize of $2,50,000 in the Regeneron Science Talent Search competition in the United States (US).

She has won the award for her research on treating brain injury and disease. Her research showed a way for increasing the survival rate of neurons affected by brain injury or neurodegenerative disease.

Key Facts
  • One of contributors to neuron death is It is a condition that occurs when cells called astrocytes react to injury by growing, dividing and reducing uptake of glutamate, which in excess is toxic to neurons.
  • Das’s in a laboratory model showed that exosomes isolated from astrocytes transfected with microRNA-124a improved astrocyte uptake of glutamate and also increased neuron survival.

Indian-American teen, Arjun Ramani was placed at third place for his project on networks using mathematical field of graph theory and computer programming. He won prize of $1,50,000.

Other Indian Winners
  • Of the 40 finalists of the science talent search, 13 were Indian-Americans. More that 1,700 students took part in the contest.
  • 5th place award ($90,000): Won by Archana Verma for research related development of windows that could produce solar power.
  • 7th place award ($70,000): Won by Prathik Naidu for a developing software to study human genomes and cancer.
  • 9th place award ($50,000): Won by Vrinda Madan for her study of medications for malaria. 

About Regeneron Science Talent Search competition

  • It is the oldest science competition in US for students.
  • It is nicknamed as the “Junior Nobel Prize”. Twelve of the contest alumni have won Nobel Prizes.
  • It was originally sponsored by Westinghouse in 1942 and Intel took it up from 1998 till 2016.
  • Now it is organised by the Society for Science and the Public in association with medical firm Regeneron.

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