An Indian American professor was among six researchers honored with the prestigious Infosys Science Foundation award. Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne felicitated the winners at an awards ceremony held in Bengaluru Thursday.
Yamuna Krishnan, a professor at the Department of Chemistry, University of Chicago, won the award in Physical Sciences category for her ground-breaking work in the emerging field of DNA architecture.
“By successfully manipulating DNA – the building blocks of life – to create biocompatible nanomachines, she has created novel ways of interrogating living systems, increasing our knowledge of cell function and getting one step closer to answering unresolved biomedical questions,” the foundation said in a statement.
Born in Kerala, India, Krishnan is the youngest woman recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for science and technology, the highest science award in India, which she won in the year 2013 in the chemical science category.
Krishnan earned her Bachelors in Chemistry from Women’s Christian College, Chennai, in 1994. She secured MS in chemical sciences in 1997 and Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 2002 both from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
She worked as a post-doctoral research fellow and an 1851 Research Fellow from 2001 to 2004 at Department of Chemistry at University of Cambridge, UK. Krishnan and her team spent about 8 years at National Centre for Biological Sciences, TIFR, Bangalore, India, pursuing cutting-edge research in the areas related to structure and dynamics of nucleic acids, nucleic acid nanotechnology, cellular and subcellular technologies.
In August 2014, Krishnan joined the University of Chicago as Professor of Chemistry.
The winners across the six categories were awarded a purse of INR 65 lakhs (about $100,000), a 22-karat gold medallion and a citation certificate.
“The winners this year – three women and three men – are a true testimony to the symbiotic relationship between science and society,” said K. Dinesh, President, Board of Trustees, Infosys Science Foundation.
“Their research pushes boundaries and explores new frontiers in human knowledge. We, at the Infosys Science Foundation, are extremely proud of all the winners and their contributions that will certainly benefit individuals and society, even beyond our time,” he added.
The Infosys Science Foundation is a not-for-profit which was set up in 2009 by the board of directors of Infosys at the time and some senior management. The mission of the Foundation is to encourage an interest in science and research.