Meet Healthcare Pioneer Rakesh Jain Who Will be Honored at New England Choice Awards Gala

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Rakesh Jain in his lab (Photo: Harvard Gazette.)

WALTHAM, MA— Rakesh Jain, a professor at Harvard Medical School and director of tumor biology laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital and recipient of the National Medal of Science, will be honored with Healthcare Pioneer Award at the New England Choice Awards gala on Oct. 27 at Westin Hotel in Waltham, MA.

He is the first MGHer to be a member of all the US National Academies as well as the first MGHer to receive the US National Medal of Science. In addition, he is a movie buff who likes films of all genres by a variety of directors from around the world, according to a profile published on OncLive.com about four years ago.

“In India, when I was growing up, my parents used to take us to a movie once a week, and I’ve maintained that tradition pretty much my whole life,” he told OncLive. “I don’t like watching movies on TV as much. I like to have the whole experience of the theater.”

Eight Indian-American achievers and two non-profit  organizations will receive New England Choice Awards at a black-tie gala on Oct. 27 at Westin Hotel in Waltham. In addition, the husband and wife team of MITHAS founder George Ruckert and New England’s Kathak dance pioneer Gretchen Hayden Ruckert will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rakesh Jain in his lab (Photo: Harvard Gazette)

About 400 entrepreneurs, corporate executives, philanthropists, educators and community leaders are expected to attend the New England Choice Awards gala, which is presented annually by the INE MultiMedia in collaboration with INDIA New England News, the region’s oldest and largest online, print and video magazine serving the South Asian community.

To buy a ticket for the NECA gala, please click here.

Jain has the rare distinction of being a member of all three US National Academies: National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Medicine. In 2016, he was awarded the United States National Medal of Science by President Obama.

Jain is regarded as a pioneer in the area of tumor microenvironment and widely recognized for his seminal discoveries in tumor biology, drug delivery, in vivo imaging, bioengineering, and bench-to-bedside translation. These include uncovering the barriers to the delivery and efficacy of molecular, nano-and immuno-therapeutics in tumors; developing new strategies to overcome these barriers; and then translating these strategies from bench to bedside.

For his far-reaching and groundbreaking contributions, Jain has received more than 80 awards from engineering and medical professional societies/institutions.

In 2014, he was chosen as one of 50 Oncology Luminaries on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. In 2015, he received honorary doctorates from Duke University, KU Leuven, Belgium and IIT-Kanpur, India.

Jain received his bachelor’s degree in 1972 from IIT, Kanpur, and his MS and PhD degrees in 1974 and 1976 from the University of Delaware, all in chemical engineering.

Here are interesting excerpts about Jain that were published in his profile on OncLive.com on Aug. 16, 2013:

  • Is the oldest of 10 children, five boys followed by five girls. Among them are twin sisters, and now Jain and his wife are the parents of twin daughters.
  • Loves to read everything from Robert Ludlum spy novels to books about sociology like The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, to tomes about oncology such as The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD.
  • Is a movie buff who likes films of all genres by a variety of directors from around the world. “In India, when I was growing up, my parents used to take us to a movie once a week, and I’ve maintained that tradition pretty much my whole life,” he said. “I don’t like watching movies on TV as much. I like to have the whole experience of the theater.”
  • Loves music, particularly opera. “When I was on the faculty of Columbia University, I often went to the Metropolitan Opera,” he recalled. “They had standing-room tickets for $10, and you could stand in the back row for the entire opera with a magnificent view.”
  • Enjoys art, and tries to visit a museum whenever he’s in a new city.
  • Swims three to five days per week.

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