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NSF Press Release


NSF PR 99-22 - April 9, 1999

Media contact:

 Joel Blumenthal

 (703) 292-8070

Program contact:

 Susan Fannoney

 (703) 306-1096

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 Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

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.



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