Indian—American Teenager Tops Intel Science Talent Search Competition

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Indian—American teenager Nithin Reddy Tumma has won the prestigious Intel Science Talent search competition in the US for his research on formulating a more effective and less toxic breast cancer treatment. Tumma received US$ 100,000 for his research. Two more Indians - Neel Patel from Florida and Anirudh Prabhu from Indiana found place in the top 10.

In a competition perceived as the toughest national science competition, seven Indian—Americans found place in the list of 40 shortlisted candidates. Tumma, aged 17, from Michigan, received the top award from the Intel Foundation for his research on cancer. He analysed the molecular mechanisms in cancer cells and found that by inhibiting certain proteins, it might be possible to slow the growth of cancer cells and decrease their malignancy. Nithin is first in his class of 332, a varsity tennis player and a volunteer for the Port Huron Museum.

Neel Patel of Florida, placed sixth, received a US$ 25,000 award for studying how non-speech patterns of sounds - called sonifications - can convey information, which could lead to a computer-user interface as revolutionary as the graphical interface was 30 years ago.

Anirudh Prabhu from Indiana, placed seventh, received a US$ 25,000 for his investigation of the odd perfect number problem, and his suggestion that odd perfect numbers do not exist.

It is worth noting that these finalists join the ranks of other notable Science Talent Search alumni who over the past 70 years have gone on to win seven Nobel Prizes, two Fields Medals, four National Medals of Science, 11 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships and even an Academy Award for Best Actress.


India Brand Equity Foundation, March 16, 2012