Ambika Grover ranked sixth wins $80,000 award; Siddhu Pachipala placed ninth gets $50,000 prize
Indian American Michigan teenager Neel Moudgal has won the top $250,000 award in the 2023 Regeneron Science Talent Search, America’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.
Two other Indian teenagers, Ambika Grover ranked sixth won a $80,000 award and Siddhu Pachipala placed ninth received a $50,000 prize, Society for Science that ran the competition sponsored by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, announced March 14.
Read: Five Indian Americans in Regeneron Science Talent Search finals (January 25, 2023)
Forty finalists, including Moudgal, were honored during a livestreamed award ceremony emceed by American Broadcaster Soledad O’Brien.
Pachipala was also named the Seaborg Award winner and given the opportunity to speak on behalf of the Regeneron Science Talent Search Class of 2023.
The 40 finalists chose Siddhu as the student who most exemplifies their class and the extraordinary attributes of nuclear chemist Glenn T. Seaborg, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1951 and served on the Society’s Board of Trustees for 30 years.
More than $1.8 million was awarded to the finalists, who were evaluated based on their projects’ scientific rigor, their exceptional problem-solving abilities and their potential to become leaders in STEM.
Moudgal, 17, of Saline, Michigan won first place and $250,000 for creating a computer model that can rapidly and reliably predict the structure of RNA molecules using only easily accessible data. He believes this will make it easier to diagnose and treat certain diseases.
Grover, 17, of Greenwich, Connecticut, received an $80,000 award for developing an injectable layered microbubble designed to target and break up blood clots and prevent them from reforming. She believes this can be used to restore the flow of oxygen-carrying blood to the brains of ischemic stroke victims.
Read: Three Indian Americans among top ten in Regeneron Science Talent Search (March 24, 2022)
Pachipala, 18, of The Woodlands, Texas, received a $50,000 award for using machine learning to analyze journal entries as a way to gauge patients’ suicide risk. His work suggests that the semantics in an individual’s writing could be correlated with their psychological health and risk of suicide.
“Congratulations to the winners of the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO, Society for Science and Executive Publisher, Science News. “These young leaders are the stewards of our future. I am in awe of their creativity and conviction.”
“Congratulations to the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023 winners, and to all our impressive finalists,” said George D. Yancopoulos, MD, PhD, co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron, and a 1976 Science Talent Search finalist and top winner.
“My experiences participating in the Science Talent Search changed my life, helping convince me to devote my life to trying to use science to cure disease,” he said.
“I can only hope this year’s students will be similarly inspired to become the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators that will develop and advance solutions for the world’s greatest challenges.”
Read: Budding Indian-origin scientists win big at the Regeneron Science Talent Search (January 22, 2023)
All 40 finalists will join the ranks of other Science Talent Search alumni, many of whom have gone on to have world-changing careers in STEM fields, and some of whom have earned the most esteemed honors in science and math, including the Nobel Prize, National Medal of Science and MacArthur Foundation Fellowships.
In total, Regeneron awarded $3.1 million in prizes this year, including $2,000 to each of the top scholars and their schools.