Gifted Young People Awarded Scholarships for Breakthrough Discoveries in World’s Most Vexing Problems

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20 Students Named 2016 Davidson Fellows and Receive $50,000, $25,000 and $10,000 Scholarships

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“We are thrilled to recognize the 2016 Davidson Fellows not only for their incredible projects, but also for the journey they forged to reach this point.”

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development announced Tuesday the 2016 Davidson Fellow scholarship recipients for projects that have great potential to benefit society.

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development has awarded more than $6.7 million over 16 years through the Davidson Fellows scholarships, recognizing 286 of the nation’s best and brightest young students. These figures include this year’s 20 Davidson Fellows recipients, ages 18 and under, who will each be awarded either a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship.

“We are thrilled to recognize the 2016 Davidson Fellows not only for their incredible projects, but also for the journey they forged to reach this point,” said Bob Davidson, founder of the Davidson Institute. “Every year I am amazed by the depth of the Fellows’ accomplishments. Through encouragement and recognition, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development anticipates that gifted students like these will be among the pioneers who will solve the world’s most vexing problems.”

Davidson Fellows not only represent some of the brightest young minds in the country, but they also represent kindness, compassion and a strong desire to improve the world around them. Many of the Fellows’ projects are inspired by personal experiences that drive them to find a solution to a problem, and each Fellow is driven to use their passion and intelligence to make the world a better place.

2016 Davidson Fellow Laureate, Nicolas Poux is one such example of a Fellow drawing from his own experience and turning it into a passion for helping others. At just 6-years-old, Poux was diagnosed with leukemia. After battling cancer for seven years, he was inspired to help others facing life threatening ailments. He took a keen interest in stem cell biology, as it is the very science that saved his life in 2011. His research aims to progress the development of stem cell research.

“I know on a very personal level how science performed in the lab can tangibly affect people’s lives,” Poux writes. “Coming out of my treatments, I was inspired to contribute to the field in any way I could.”

Anurudh Ganesan is another 2016 Davidson Fellow with a passion to help others. As an infant in India, Ganesan’s grandparents carried him nearly 10 miles to a remote health clinic to receive a vaccination. When they arrived, there were no viable vaccines left due to lack of refrigeration. Fifteen years later, Ganesan discovered this is still a serious problem, and created VAXXWAGON, a non-electric vaccine transport system.

Named one of the most prestigious undergraduate scholarships by U.S. News & World Report, the Davidson Fellows program seeks to recognize young people who have developed significant projects that have great potential to benefit society. This year’s Davidson Fellows exemplify the extraordinary work that can be accomplished by gifted young students who are given opportunities to excel.

The 2016 Davidson Fellows Award Ceremony will be held Wednesday, September 21 in Washington, D.C. While in Washington, D.C., each Fellow will meet with their representatives in Congress to speak of the importance of educational opportunities for excelling young people.

Following are this year’s Davidson Fellows and their projects:

2016 Davidson Fellow Laureates
$50,000 Scholarships
Miss Meena Jagadeesan, 18, Naperville, Ill.; The Exchange Graphs of Weakly Separated Collections
Mr. Christopher Lindsay, 17, Honolulu, Hawaii; Kahakai to Hohonukai: Environmental Studies of Marine Biota Using Underwater Time-Lapse Photography and Multiple Camera Arrays at Various Depths
Miss Sriharshita Musunuri, 16, Mill Creek, Wash.; Application of Tetrahedrite and Magnesium Silicide in a Novel Thermoelectric Unicouple to Generate Electricity from Industrial Waste Heat
Mr. Nicolas Poux, 17, Palo Alto, Calif.; Development of a High-Resolution Multi-color Fluorescent Reporter for Clonal Analysis

2016 Davidson Fellows
$25,000 Scholarships
Mr. Michael Du, 17, Houston, Texas; Nifurtimox Limits Cell Proliferation in Glioblastoma Multiforme in Vitro
Mr. Anurudh Ganesan, 16, Clarksburg, Md.; VAXXWAGON: An Innovative Eco-Friendly "No Ice, No Electric" Active Refrigeration System for Last-Leg Vaccine Transportation
Mr. Raghav Ganesh, 14, San Jose, Calif.; Serene: An Assistive Biomedical System for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Mr. Ellis Hamilton, 17, Fort Sam Houston, Texas; The Music in Me
Miss Katherine Hudek, 17, Grafton, Mass.; Quacee: A New Quantum Programming Language for Specifying Quantum Computations
Mr. Wyatt Pontius, 18, Sterling, Va.; Reinventing the Leaf: A Novel Biohybrid Photosynthetic System
Miss Maya Varma, 18, Cupertino, Calif.; A Wireless Smartphone-Based System for Diagnosis of Pulmonary Illnesses
Miss Jaelynn Walls, 17, Pearland, Texas; Humanity On-Screen: Engendering Positive Self-Perception and Political Activism in Persons With Marginalized Identities

$10,000 Scholarships
Mr. Christopher Huh, 17, Germantown, Md.; History's Lessons
Miss Justine Izah, 17, Crown Point, Ind.; An Examination of Black Liberation, Stereotypes, Healthcare and Education Through the Eyes of a Black Woman
Mr. Noah Lee, 16, Oakland, N.J.; Changing the World Begins With A Single Person Feeling Valued
Miss Surabhi Mundada, 17, Olympia, Wash.; MyGlove: Assisting Hand Movements, Grip, and Tremor
Miss Isabel Seguin, 18, Boston, Mass.; The Cycle of Uighur Discontent
Miss Kavita Selva, 16, Houston, Texas; From Nano Defects to Mega Power: Heavily-Zirconium-Doped Trapped Field (Gd,Y)BaCuO Superconductor Tapes for High Power Wind Turbine Generators
Mr. Clifford Soloway, 18, Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.; Reprogramming of Metabolism in Cancer Cells Through Lysine Succinylation
Miss Josephine Yu, 17, Potomac, Md.; Lattice and Continuum Models of Solitons and Vortices in Bilayer Graphene

About the Davidson Institute
Founded by Bob Davidson in 1999, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development recognizes, nurtures and supports profoundly intelligent young students, and provides opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference. The Institute offers support through a number of programs and services, including the Davidson Fellows Scholarship and the Davidson Academy of Nevada. For more information about the Davidson Institute, please visit

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