Dr. Rakesh K. Jain, an Indian-American professor at Harvard Medical School, will receive the prestigious National Medal of Science from US President Barack Obama, for his remarkable contribution to the field of science. He is one of the 17 scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and innovators who will be awarded by President Obama during a ceremony at the White House on January 22.
The National Medal of Science is awarded every year to recognise individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the field of science, engineering, and mathematics. The award was created in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation – a United States government agency.
Here are five things to know about Dr. Jain:
1. Dr. Rakesh K. Jain is an IIT-Kanpur alumnus. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1972.
Later, he did his masters and PhD from the University of Delaware.
2. Currently, he is the professor of Tumour Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Harvard Medical School.
He has received more than 75 awards, from engineering and medical professional societies and institutions, for his work in the field of tumour biology.
3. Dr. Jain is considered to be a pioneer in the field of tumour micro-environment.
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He is working on developing new strategies to control the micro-environment of tumours and use them for early cancer detection, prevention, and treatment. He is recognised for his discoveries in tumour biology, drug delivery, bioengineering, and more. His research includes finding out about the barriers in the delivery of molecular and nano-medicines in tumours, and discovering new ways of overcoming these barriers. He is well known for proposing a new principle for treatment of malignant and non-malignant diseases characterised by abnormal vessels, and his research on improving the effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
4. He is a member of all three branches of the US National Academies – the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Sciences.
He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
5. In 2014, he was chosen as one of the 50 Oncology Luminaries on the 50th anniversary of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
In 2015, Jain received honorary doctorates from Duke University, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, and IIT-Kanpur.