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Press Release 99-022
Stanford Chemical Engineer Chaitan Khosla Receives Alan T. Waterman Award From NSF

April 9, 1999

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

A 34-year-old Stanford University professor of chemical engineering and chemistry whose work is leading to the discovery of new drugs to fight infections and diseases has received the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s most prestigious prize for young researchers.

Chaitan S. Khosla will be honored with the 1999 Alan T. Waterman Award at a National Science Board awards ceremony May 5 in Washington, D.C.

Khosla's work in elucidating the genes involved in the microbial production of polyketides, and methods for modifying these genes, "has captured the attention of the entire pharmaceutical industry as an exciting new approach for the production of new antimicrobial agents from engineered organisms," said 1988 Waterman Award winner and University of California-Berkeley professor of chemistry Peter G. Schultz.

Khosla's "creativity, productivity and intellect are defining the forefront of his field and opening a whole new opportunity at the interface of chemistry, biology and chemical engineering," Schultz added.

Khosla earned a Bachelor's in Technology in 1985 from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. Both degrees are in chemical engineering.

His previous honors include the Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Investigator Award (1991); a David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in Science and Engineering (1994); and the Allan P. Colburn Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (1997). He was named to the National Institutes of Health Bioorganic and Natural Products Chemistry Study Section in 1997.

A current NSF grantee, Khosla received his first federal research grant from what is now the NSF Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Systems in 1992, and was named a NSF Young Investigator in 1994.

The Alan T. Waterman Award, named after the NSF's first director, honors an outstanding young U.S. scientist who is at the forefront of science or engineering. The recipient receives a medal as well as a $500,000 grant over three years for scientific research or advanced study in any field of science or engineering.


See also: Fact Sheet on Waterman Award

Media Contacts
Joel Blumenthal, NSF, (703) 292-8070, jblument@nsf.gov

Program Contacts
Susan E. Fannoney, NSF, (703) 292-8096, sfannone@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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