Six promising young Indian Americans awarded Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship


Our Bureau

New York City, NY

The 2024 Class of Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows is made up of 30 outstanding immigrants and children of immigrants from all over the country and world who are pursuing graduate school here in the United States. Selected from more than 2,300 applicants, each of the recipients was chosen for their potential to make significant contributions to the United States and will receive up to $90,000 in funding over two years.

Since the Fellowship’s founding 26 years ago, the program has provided more than $80 million in funding, and recipients have studied a range of fields from medicine and the arts to law and business. The promising young Indians, children of immigrants that make to the prestigious list are:

Shubhayu Bhattacharyay

He was born in Kolkata, India and spent his early childhood in Thailand and Vietnam before settling in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Over long-distance phone calls and on the shared family bed, Shubhayu learned his native Bengali language and culture from his grandparents. An appreciation of his heritage helped Shubhayu cherish the cultural diversity of his predominately immigrant neighborhood and perceive healthcare challenges shared between his communities in India and Los Angeles.

At Johns Hopkins University, Shubhayu double majored in biomedical engineering and applied mathematics and statistics with a minor in Spanish. He was supported by the Milken Scholars Program and graduated with full departmental and Tau Beta Pi honors. During college, Shubhayu founded Auditus Technologies, a company inventing individualizable, accessible hearing devices for adults living with dementia.

Shubhayu is currently an MD student at Harvard Medical School with aspirations of becoming a physician-engineer in neurocritical or neurosurgical care. At Harvard, he is researching sources of bias in medical AI to protect patient safety and equity in the clinical deployment of decision support systems for TBI care. Shubhayu’s mission is to enhance the precision and global accessibility of TBI care with big data.

Keerthana Hogirala

Keerthana Hogirala was born in Tirupati, India and immigrated to the United States with her parents and younger brother when she was six. From the outset, her parents worked long hours through multiple jobs to maintain the employment and finances required to extend their immigration and keep their family secure in their new home. To alleviate some of the pressure her parents felt, Keerthana took on responsibilities for her family’s well-being and her and her brother’s education from an early age. After over a decade of persistent effort, uncertainty, and anxiety, her family finally gained citizenship. This experience taught Keerthana to take nothing for granted, always be prepared for the unknown, and do something meaningful with the opportunities her parents made possible for her. 

Malavika Kannan

Malavika has been awarded fellowship awarded to support work towards an MFA in Literature at TBD. Malavika Kannan was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and grew up in Central Florida in a tightly knit community of Indian immigrant families. She has known she wants to be a writer for a very long time. Malavika’s formative experiences as an organizer influence her writing, an art form she views as inherently political, imaginative, and community oriented. Malavika writes about identity, culture, and politics for The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, and The San Francisco Chronicle, amassing an audience of nearly 50,000 online. 

Aayush Karan

Aayush has been awarded fellowship to support work towards a PhD in Quantum Science and Engineering at Harvard University. Aayush Karan was born to parents who emigrated from India to the United States to conduct research in cancer biology, moving throughout the country—largely in the Midwest—before eventually settling in Wisconsin. Aayush first fell in love with pure mathematics in high school, publishing research in low-dimensional topology for which he was named a Regeneron Science Talent Search finalist and a Davidson fellow.

Aayush is now pursuing classical and quantum computational learning as a PhD student in the Quantum Science and Engineering program at Harvard. In the long run, he hopes to be actively involved in advancing the frontier of artificially intelligent systems and ensuring their broadly transformative potential is safely and effectively realized.

Ananya Augustin Malhotra

Ananya has been awarded a fellowship to support work towards a JD at yale University. Born and raised in Georgia, Ananya Agustin Malhotra is the daughter of immigrants from Obando, Bulacan, Philippines and New Delhi, India. Raised in a bi-cultural and interfaith household, Ananya is deeply motivated by her mother and father’s family histories to advocate for a more just and peaceful future United States foreign policy.

She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University with a concentration in the School of Public and International Affairs. Her undergraduate thesis, based on oral histories with New Mexican Downwinders, explored the human legacies of the 1945 Trinity Test and the US nuclear age. For the last four years, Ananya has advocated for nuclear disarmament and risk reduction through her research, scholarship, and public commentary.

Akshay Swaminathan

Akshay has been awarded fellowship to support work towards an MD/PhD in biomedical data sciences at Stanford University. Akshay Swaminathan was born in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey to Indian immigrants from Tamil Nadu, India. In high school, after discovering an online community of polyglots, Akshay began self-studying foreign languages, eventually developing pedagogical techniques that helped him learn over ten languages. 

As a data scientist, Akshay builds data-driven tools for patients, clinicians, and policymakers with a focus on real-world deployment. He has over 40 publications applying quantitative methods to problems in healthcare and is the co-author of the book Winning with Data Science, published by Columbia University Press. Akshay plans to become a physician who combines data science and medicine to strengthen health systems in low resource areas.

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