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Generous CSHL neighbor endows graduate student fellowship

photo of Mukund Padmanabhan in front of Urey Cottage
Dr. Mukund Padmanabhan, researcher at Renaissance Technologies LLC, in front of Urey Cottage on the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory main campus. Urey Cottage is the home of the CSHL School of Biological Sciences (SBS). Padmanabhan donated $1 million to establish a graduate student fellowship in computational neuroscience at SBS.
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We are grateful to Dr. Mukund Padmanabhan for his recent $1 million endowment of a fellowship in computational neuroscience at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s (CSHL) Graduate School. Dr. Padmanabhan is a resident of Brookville and a researcher at hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies LLC. Dr. Padmanabhan, whose son has participated in CSHL’s DNA Learning Center programs, has long been aware of the Laboratory’s reputation for excellence. Somewhat coincidentally, his long-time colleagues, Dr. Lalit Bahl and Dr. Robert Lourie are members of CSHL’s Board of Trustees.

The fellowship will be established through the Guru Krupa Foundation which Dr. Padmanabhan founded to support various causes related to higher education, social welfare, culture, and spirituality. Dr. Padmanabhan received two graduate degrees in electrical engineering at UCLA before joining IBM’s Watson Research Center where he managed the research and development of algorithms for speech recognition, and where he first met Dr. Bahl.

Said Dr. Padmanabhan, “I’ve always been impressed by the work done at CSHL. Their path-breaking research in computational neuroscience stands at the intersection of data analysis methods and understanding the working of various aspects of the human brain and genome, an area that I am deeply interested in. Having done my graduate studies in the U.S. as an international student long ago, I am familiar with the financial travails that graduate students have to go through, and welcome this opportunity to help a bright young person study further and maybe make ground-breaking discoveries in the area.”

The international scientific community at CSHL provides a unique and stimulating atmosphere for doctoral research and attracts a student body with diverse ethnicities, nationalities and educational backgrounds. The School offers an innovative, accelerated Ph.D. program designed for exceptional students.

Although the Guru Krupa Fellowship is not limited to supporting students from India, Dr. Bruce Stillman, President of CSHL, thanked Dr. Padmanabhan for his “generosity in offering to support computational neuroscience and also Indian scientists, who are fantastic. I have had many such scientists in my lab and two former postdocs of mine from India are now department chairs at the University of Virginia and the University of Illinois. I currently have two Indian scientists in my lab, both from New Delhi and they are really terrific. I trust that we will continue to attract outstanding students and postdocs to CSHL from India.”