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Dr. Vaidehi Narayan

(1981 - MSc - Chemistry) & (1986 - Ph.D - Chemistry) Professor of Immunology @ Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, USA

Dr. Vaidehi Narayan obtained an M.Sc. degree in Chemistry from IIT Madras in 1981 and continued on to get her Ph.D. in Theoretical Chemistry from the Institute in 1986. Subsequently, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Exeter (UK), the University of Southern California (USA), and the California Institute of Technology (USA). She then became the Director of Biomolecular Simulations at the Materials and Process Simulation Centre at California Institute of Technology, and a Visiting Associate at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Since 2006, she is a Professor of Molecular Immunology at Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope National Medical Center (USA).

Publishing under the name N Vaidehi since her time at IIT Madras, Dr. Narayan has over one hundred peer-reviewed articles and invited reviews to her credit. She has also delivered about sixty invited lectures and seminars in prestigious academic and industry settings. Dr. Narayan has committed herself to developing theoretical methods to make predictions prior to experimentation, in the challenging field of protein structure and dynamics. Her contributions to this field has earned her international recognition including the appreciation of Nobel Laureate Dr. Brian Kobilka, who has acknowledged her work in making successful predictions. Over the years, Dr. Narayan has also dedicated herself as an educator, in particular encouraging and inspiring students from underprivileged backgrounds and women to pursue a career in physical sciences. Towards this cause, she interacts regularly with local high school and college undergraduate students. She has also mentored over fifteen graduate students and twenty postdoctoral Fellows over the years.

Working towards the treatment of cancer and diabetes, she is a pioneer in using protein structure and dynamics for drug design. Her innovative methods for drug design have led to identifying the effectiveness of an anti-malarial drug in treating pancreatic cancer. She is a Member of the American Chemical Society, BioPhysical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In recognition of her innovation and perseverance is using the power of theoretical chemistry to address pressing societal health issues, and of her passion as an educator, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer this award upon Dr. Vaidehi Narayan.

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