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Four NRIs among World's top 35 innovators

MIT's Technology Review magazine has named them for "exemplifying the spirit of contemporary technology".

india Updated: Sep 11, 2005 15:54 IST
Seema Hakhu Kachru (PTI)
Seema Hakhu Kachru (PTI)

Four Indian Americans have been named among the world's top 35 young high-tech innovators by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) prestigious Technology Review magazine.

Anita Goel of Nanobiosym, Narasimha Chari of Tropos Networks, Rajit Manohar of Cornell University and Shiladitya Sengupta of Harvard Medical School—all aged below 35—have been named top high-tech innovators for "exemplifying the spirit of contemporary technology leading to a road map to what's hot in emerging technology."

Goel, a physicist as well as a physician and also the founder and CEO of Nanobiosym was named top young innovator for developing nanotech devices that could identify viruses and bacteria in blood samples more rapidly, accurately and cheaply than existing techniques.

Chari was selected for setting the wireless mesh networking standard. He created elegant algorithms that tailored mesh networking, once an exclusive province of the military, for routine civillian communication.

Tropos Networks, the company Chari founded in 2000 with co-inventor Devabhaktuni Srikrishna, helped launch commercial wireless mesh networking. With this, mesh networks have eased into plentiful use both outdoors -- on campuses, in public safety networks, and at gatherings such as festivals -- and in hospitals and factories.

Rajit Manohar, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in Cornell University, was chosen for creating computer chips with greater speed and lowered power consumption by removing the on-board clock that synchronises the different functions of the chip.

He is also credited with building the first low-power processor for sensor networks, enabling them to run on the same batteries for years instead of weeks.

Shiladitya Sengupta of Harvard Medical school was chosen for delivering drugs to cancer cells using a nanoscale device. He is also the brain behind an anti-inflammatory gel that is now sold in India under the brand name Nimulid.

Unlike the previous four years, this year the names of young innovators have been whittled down from the usual list of 100 (called TR100) to a more compact 35.

"TR reminds us that the winners from previous years have changed your world. And, indeed, they have. The awardees -- all under age 35 -- were selected by a prestigious panel of judges for their potential to profoundly impact the world," said Technology Review Editor in Chief Jason Pontin.

The winners were selected by a prestigious panel of judges for their potential to "profoundly impact the world," he said.

In addition to being selected to the TR35, two awardees have been chosen as Technology Review's Innovator of the Year and Technology Review's Humanitarian of the Year by the magazine's editors.

Their names will be revealed at Technology Review's fifth annual Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT (TRETC) from September 28-29.

First Published: Sep 09, 2005 10:55 IST