Right after the year-ending award-rain of 2011, its award time again, plonk in the opening month of the new year.
Sandhya Koushika of the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore has bagged the prestigious International Early Career Scientist (IECS) award instituted by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) based in Maryland, USA. In all, 28 young scientists from 12 countries got the award in its inaugural year. “These are the people who, 10 years from now, we expect will be the scientific leaders in their countries,” HHMI President Robert Tjian said in a release.
Each of the awardees will receive $100,000 a year for five years. Alongside that they will get $150,000 the first year for major equipment purchases and other investments. The funding starts next month.
Sandhya studies “long-distance transport of organelles within neurons using the tiny transparent worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model. To understand how such transport is regulated, she uses genetics and live imaging combined with interdisciplinary tools and approaches”. Here’s HHMI’s awardee profile of Sandhya and the NCBS page detailing her work.
Apart from her scientific pursuits, Sandhya has been a keen organiser of many international meets and events as part of the NCBS team. It has been our pleasure to hear from the enthusiastic scientist who has co-authored a series of meeting reports for Nature India over the years [1, 2, 3, 4].
“I think in few years time, India will do very very well in such fora, like the Chinese,” Sandhya said responding to a congratulatory message. She thinks India is getting good scientists back in larger numbers. “I hope more young people consider India as a destination to build their independent scientific careers.”
Here’s wishing her great success in her scientific journey!