Award Winner

Infosys 2017 Prizes: Neuroscientist, chemistry professor among six winners

The awards will be given away on January 10 in Bengaluru.

Six scholars were on Wednesday named winners of the 2017 Infosys Prizes across disciplines by the Infosys Science Foundation. This is only the second time that as many women won the award as men. The Infosys Science Foundation’s prize was announced in the fields of engineering and computer science, humanities, life sciences, mathematical sciences, physical sciences and social sciences.

Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne will be the chief guest at the awards event in Bengaluru on January 10. The winners were:

  • Engineering and Computer Science: Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay, director, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata
  • Humanities: Ananya Jahanara Kabir, professor, King’s College, London
  • Life Sciences: Upinder Singh Bhalla, professor, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru
  • Physical Sciences: Yamuna Krishnan, University of Chicago
  • Mathematics: Ritabrata Munshi, professor, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai and Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata
  • Social Sciences: Lawrence Liang, professor, Ambedkar University, Delhi

Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and former World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu were part of the jury.

Neurologist Bhalla has made “pioneering contributions” in the understanding of the brain’s computational machinery, the award foundation said.

While Bandyopadhyay was recognised for the impact of her work in biological data analysis, and her discoveries in cancer, Alzheimer’s and HIV, Kabir received the honour for her study of colonial modernity and ethnography of cultural and political life in Kashmir.

Munshi was recognised for his contributions to the number theory, Krishnan for her work on DNA, and Liang for his “creative scholarship” on law and society.

Infosys Science Foundation gives away the awards annually to honour achievements of researchers and scientists across the six fields. Each prize carries a gold medal, a citation and a Rs 65 lakh award. It was first given in mathematics in 2008.

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