American Academy of Arts and Sciences appoint new members


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Nine Indian Americans have been elected as new members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. They are among 269 outstanding individuals who have been elected to the Academy in 2023. The new batch of members was announced by Academy President David W. Oxtoby and Chair of the Board of Directors Nancy C. Andrews.

Founded in 1780, the Academy honors individuals for exceptional accomplishments and leadership in academia, the arts, industry, public policy, and research. The Academy also engages in multidisciplinary research by experts in various fields, addressing topics in the areas of the arts and humanities, democracy and justice, education, energy and environment, global affairs, and science and technology.

Indian Americans who were elected are Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan, Harvard University (Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, and Statistics); Vidya Madhavan, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Senthil Todadri, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Physics), Priyamvada Natarajan, Yale University (Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Earth Sciences); Ruma Banerjee, University of Michigan (Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology); Sankar Ghosh, Columbia University (Microbiology and Immunology); Vasudha Narayanan, University of Florida (Religious Studies); Amitabh Chandra, Harvard Kennedy School (Public Affairs and Public Policy); and, Sudip Parikh, American Association for the Advancement of Science (Scientific, Cultural, and Nonprofit Leadership).

Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan is a Professor of Physics, de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics, and Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. 

Vidya Madhavan is a Professor of Physics at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She received her bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering in 1991 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, and a master of technology degree in solid state materials in 1993 from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi. 

Senthil Todadri  is Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1992, and his PhD from Yale University in 1997. 

Priyamvada Natarajan is a Professor in the departments of astronomy and physics at Yale University. She is noted for her work in mapping dark matter and dark energy, particularly with her work in gravitational lensing, and in models describing the assembly and accretion histories of supermassive black holes.

Ruma Banerjee isVincent Massey Collegiate Professor of Biological Chemistry at the University of Michigan Medical School. She is an experimentalist whose research has focused on unusual cofactors in enzymology.

Sankar Ghosh is an immunologist and molecular biologist who is currently the Silverstein and Hutt Family Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Columbia University. Ghosh is best known for his pioneering research on the activation of cellular responses via NF-κB, a transcription factor that plays a critical role in regulating the expression of a large number of genes involved in the mammalian immune system. 

Vasudha Narayanan is a distinguished professor of religion and the director of the Center for the Study of Hindu Traditions at the University of Florida. She is a scholar of Hinduism and studies the intersection of religion and culture in South Asia. Narayanan earned her undergraduate and graduate studies in religion at the University of Madras. She later earned her Ph.D. in religious studies from Harvard University.

Amitabh Chandra  is an Indian-American academic and healthcare economist who is the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Chandra received his B.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Kentucky. Chandra is a member of the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) Panel of Health Advisors, and is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). 

Sudip Parikh is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society. Before that, he was senior vice president and managing director at DIA Global, a neutral, multidisciplinary organization bringing together regulators, industry, academia, patients, and other stakeholders interested in healthcare product development. 

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