Dr. Rakesh Jain, of the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, is among those named recipients of the National Medal of Science, Technology and Innovations the White House announced on December 22nd. The medals are the nation’s highest honors for achievement and leadership in advancing fields of science and technology, according to a White House news release.
“Science and technology are fundamental to solving some of our nation’s biggest challenges,” Obama said in a statement. “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, the A. Werk Cook professor of radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital, is a member of all three branches of the U.S. 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.
He received his bachelor’s degree in from IIT Kanpur and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Delaware, all in chemical engineering. The National Medal of Science was established by statute in 1959 and is administered by the National Science Foundation. It is awarded annually to those 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, math and the biological, behavioral/social and physical sciences.
Created by statute in 1980, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation is administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office. It recognizes those who have made lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life, and helped strengthen the nation’s technological workforce. Jain and the 16 other recipients will receive their medals at a White House ceremony early next year.