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Two Indian Americans At Caltech Recognized With Named Professorships

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Two Indian Americans At Caltech Recognized With Named Professorships

Photo Credit : Lance Hayashida/Caltech (Left) / Caltech (Right)

India-West Staff Reporter

PASADENA, CA – Caltech has recognized 13 faculty members with named professorships for early career and tenured faculty—the Institute’s most distinguished award. Among them are two Indian Americans, Smruthi Karthikeyan and Karthish Manthiram.

Each named professorship brings its own legacy. Many professorships, for instance, have long-standing histories and pass a tradition of discovery and exploration from one academic generation to the next, from one colleague to another. A professorship may also provide a faculty member with an opportunity to forge meaningful connections with the philanthropists who made the award possible, Caltech said in its announcement.

Karthikeyan joined the Caltech faculty in 2022. She is the Gordon and Carol Treweek Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering William H. Hurt Scholar, Division of Engineering and Applied Science.

Her research interests lie in the interface of engineering, computational biology, and microbial ecology to study microbial dark matter. Her overarching objectives are to develop integrated wet-lab and multi-omic (DNA-, RNA-, untargeted metabolomics) approaches to provide a systems-level understanding of complex microbial communities and their interactions and how these translate to biomarkers for environmental and human health. Understanding microbial community behavior at a mechanistic level can have applications ranging from identifying the role of human gut microbiome in health and disease to mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Karthish Manthiram is Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

William H. Hurt Scholar, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.

Manthiram, Caltech said, strives to make artificial chemical synthesis more like the metabolic processes found in plants, which extract much of what they need from water, air, and sunlight. Manthiram’s group develops electrochemical catalysts and processes that enable removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the oceans, using only renewable electricity, such as solar. The carbon contained in carbon dioxide can then be converted, along with atmospheric nitrogen, into fuels, fertilizers, pharmaceutical compounds, and other important materials.

Manthiram joined the Caltech faculty in 2021.

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