President Obama to Honor Rakesh Jain of MGH and Harvard Medical School

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Rakesh Jain in his lab (Photo: Harvard Gazette)

WASHINGTON–The White House announced the latest recipients of the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation—our Nation’s highest honors for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology. The new awardees will receive their medals at a White House ceremony early next year.

Rakesh K. Jain, PhD, A. Werk Cook Professor of Radiation Oncology (Tumor Biology) at Harvard Medical School and Director of Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital, will receive the honor from President Obama.

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

Jain is one of only five living U.S. scientists to be a member of the National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Medicine.

“Science and technology are fundamental to solving some of our Nation’s biggest challenges,” President Obama said. “The knowledge produced by these Americans today will carry our country’s legacy of innovation forward and continue to help countless others around the world. Their work is a testament to American ingenuity.”

Jain is regarded as a pioneer in the area of tumour micro-environment 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 and nano-medicines in tumors; developing new strategies to overcome these barriers; and then translating these strategies from bench to bedside.

A mentor to more than 200 master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral students from over a dozen different disciplines, he has received more than 75 awards from engineering and medical professional societies/institutions.

Jain is a member of all three branches of the US National Academies – the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences – and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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.

The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. The President receives nominations from a committee of Presidential appointees based on their extraordinary knowledge in and contributions to chemistry, engineering, computing, mathematics, and the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences.

The National Medal of Technology and Innovation was created by statute in 1980 and is administered for the White House by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office. The award recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life and helped strengthen the Nation’s technological workforce. A distinguished independent committee representing the private and public sectors submits recommendations to the President.

The new recipients are listed below.

National Medal of Science

  • Dr. Armand Paul Alivisatos, University of California and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, CA
  • Dr. Michael Artin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MA
  • Dr. Albert Bandura, Stanford University, CA
  • Dr. Stanley Falkow, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA
  • Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, NY
  • Dr. Rakesh K. Jain, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, MA
  • Dr. Mary-Claire King, University of Washington, WA
  • Dr. Simon Levin, Princeton University, NJ
  • Dr. Geraldine Richmond, University of Oregon, OR

National Medal of Technology and Innovation

  • Dr. Joseph DeSimone, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and Carbon3D, CA
  • Dr. Robert Fischell, University of Maryland at College Park, MD
  • Dr. Arthur Gossard, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Dr. Nancy Ho, Green Tech America, Inc. and Purdue University, IN
  • Dr. Chenming Hu, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • Dr. Mark Humayun, University of Southern California, CA
  • Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, University of Connecticut, CT
  • Dr. Jonathan Rothberg, 4catalyzer Corporation and Yale School of Medicine, CT.

 

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