NSF PR 99-22 - April 9, 1999
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Stanford Chemical Engineer Chaitan Khosla Receives
Alan T. Waterman Award From NSF
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.