Dr. Rakesh K. Jain of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital has been honored by President Obama with the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation on May 19 at the White House. The medals are the highest honors bestowed by the government on scientists, engineers, and inventors and list of awardees was announced in December.
The award recognized his pioneering research at the interface of engineering and oncology, including tumor microenvironment, drug delivery and imaging, and for groundbreaking discoveries of principles leading to the development and novel use of drugs for treatment of cancer and non-cancerous diseases.
“These scientific laureates exemplify the American spirit and ingenuity that have enriched our society and the global community in profound and lasting ways,” President Obama is quoted saying in a release from the White Hous. “Their ambition and accomplishments are an inspiration to the next generation pursuing careers in the essential fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.”
Jain, recipient of numerous awards, is the Andrew Werk Cook Professor of Tumor Biology (Radiation Oncology), and Director, Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology, at Mass General. Jain received the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1983 and is a member of the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences. A graduate of Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and Ph.Ds in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware.
The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. 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.