Obama to honor four Indian Americans with Presidential awards

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PECASE was established by President Bill Clinton in 1996.

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President Barack Obama on Tuesday named 102 scientists and researchers, including four Indian Americans, as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor given by the US government to scientists and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Indian American scientists in the list are Pankaj Lal from Montclair State University, Kaushik Chowdhury from Northeastern University, Manish Arora from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Aradhna Tripati from University of California, Los Angeles.

Pankaj Lal

Lal, who got recognition for his excellent work in the Department of Agriculture, is Assistant Professor in Earth and Environmental Studies at Montclair State University. He completed his BA degree from University of Delhi and MA from the Delhi School of Economics. After completing MBA from the Indian Institute of Forest Management he pursued his PhD in University of Florida.

Kaushik Chowdhury

Kaushik Chowdhury is an Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Northeastern university and faculty fellow of the College of Engineering.  He received his PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology in August 2009 and MS from the University of Cincinnati in 2006. Chowdhury got recognition for his work in the department of defense.

Manish Arora

Manish Arora, whose work for the Department of Health and Human Services earned him this award, is a Dentistry Associate Professor in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He is also the director of Exposure Biology at the Senator Frank Lautenberg Environment Health Sciences Laboratory in the Department of Preventive Medicine. Arora graduated with a Ph.D from the University of Sydney in 2006, and undertook postgraduate fellowship training at the Harvard School of Public Health.


Aaradhna Tripati holds a PhD in Earth Sciences form the University of California, Santa Cruz and a BSc in Geology from the California State University, Los Angles. Currently she works as an Assistant Professor at University of California, Los Angles and bagged the honor for her work for the National Science Foundation.

The honor, established by President Bill Clinton in 1996, is a recognition for keeping the US on the cutting edge with their innovations and highlight the key role that the Administration places in encouraging and accelerating American innovation to grow the economy and tackle the country’s greatest challenges.

“I congratulate these outstanding scientists and engineers on their impactful work, these innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that Federal investments in sciences lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy,” Obama said.