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Texas A&M Hosts Promising Young Scientists Ahead ot Prestigious Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

Thirty-two scholars, including eight Aggies, are preparing for a global scientific exchange in Lindau, Germany, this summer.

 

A select group of young scientists gathered at Texas A&M University last week in preparation for the upcoming 73rd Nobel Laureate Meetings in Lindau, Germany.

The young scientists — a total of 32 students and post-doctoral researchers from across the country — will join more than 600 of their peers from around the world at this year’s meetings, set for June 30-July 5. 

Seven students and one post-doctoral researcher from Texas A&M will be among the participants. The scientists were nominated to participate in the gathering by their institutions and then selected by a Lindau’s scientific review panel. 

Last week’s gathering on the Texas A&M campus gave the participants an opportunity to tour the campus and research facilities, network with the group members and meet with Texas A&M faculty and administrators. With support from the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the College of Arts & Sciences, the group visited the Cyclotron Institute, Institute for Quantum Science and Engineering, and the Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics, among other sites. 

Kamal Rudra, who recently completed a master’s degree at the University of Michigan, said the workshop on campus was a great opportunity to meet peers and faculty and learn about what motivated their interest in their research.

“What I keep noticing in their stories is that innovative scientists often encounter initial rejection of their ideas,” Rudra said. “I am always inspired by how people persevere through those kinds of challenges. At Lindau, we’re going to get to meet people who overcame those challenges and conducted research that changed the world. What’s more inspiring than that?” 

The campus visit was coordinated by the Office of the Provost, in collaboration with the Division of Research, the Graduate and Professional School, the Office for Faculty Affairs and the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study.

The two-day event represents one aspect of a larger initiative at Texas A&M.

The university has reached a four-year agreement with the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings Foundation to be one of the organization’s main U.S. academic partners outside California; the University of California System has a similar agreement with Lindau to provide opportunities for young scientists from California. As part of that agreement, Texas A&M will conduct a first round of nomination reviews before forwarding selected nominees on to the Lindau scientific review panel to make final decisions and extend invites to the annual meeting. The university will then host a pre-Lindau Meeting preparatory session on campus and support the travel for a number of those invited. 

This summer, Texas A&M will support 21 of the 32 students and post-docs selected to attend the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings. The other 11 will be supported by corporate partner Amgen. In addition, Texas A&M will host “International Day” at Lindau, which opens with a partner breakfast and panel discussion on the role of physics in solving the global problems of the 21st century featuring Nobel Laureate Bill Phillips and two faculty and one young scientist from Texas A&M. The day will conclude with cross-cultural sharing of food and activities.

Dr. Joerg Steiner addresses young scientists in a classroom
Joerg Steiner meeting with young scientists in a classroom Photo courtesy of Butch Ireland

Dr. Joerg Steiner, university distinguished professor of veterinary medicine and faculty liaison for the Office of the Vice President for Research, has spearheaded the initiative. “Texas A&M is filling an important need in the U.S.,” Steiner said. “Outside of California, there’s no U.S. academic institution doing what we’re doing.”

Dr. Alan Sams, executive vice president and provost at Texas A&M, said it was an honor to host the scholars to help them prepare for the meeting in Germany. 

“Attending a Nobel Laureate Meeting is transformational for a young scientist. We’re giving the most promising students and post-docs at Texas A&M and around the country a chance at a potentially life- and career-changing experience and we’re preparing them to make the most of that experience,” Sams said. “In addition, we get an opportunity to showcase our university by bringing young scholars from around the country to our campus and showing them all our university has to offer, then sending them to Lindau as a cohort supported by Texas A&M.” 

The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings provide an international forum for intellectual exchange and collaboration. The event, which was established in 1951, feature lectures, discussions and workshops that cover a range of scientific disciplines, rotating annually between physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine, with a meeting dedicated to economics every three years. This year, nearly 40 Nobel Laureates in physics will be in attendance.

photo of Hannah Dattilo in the cyclotron
Hannah Dattilo takes a photo while touring the Cyclotron Photo courtesy of Butch Ireland

Hannah Dattilo, a doctoral student at Vanderbilt University, said she is most interested in the exchange of ideas with such accomplished researchers. “Events like this and Lindau,” Dattilo said, “are hallmarks of what collaboration looks like, and they contradict the stereotype of the mad scientist working alone in a lab. Working together and sharing ideas and insights is how we move science forward.” 

Texas A&M students said they enjoyed having the workshop on campus and are proud that Texas A&M has partnered with Lindau. 

“These two days have been like a crash course in cutting-edge research,” said David Thomas, a senior mechanical engineering major. “I am just trying to soak it all in, and having a small community will make it easier to interact with the larger community at Lindau. This has been a great primer.” 

Physics doctoral student Alex Strasser said he was excited about Texas A&M’s effort through the initiative to connect students and the university with the international scientific community. 

“I am interested in philosophical questions surrounding physics,” Strasser said. “I have already been blown away by the diversity of ideas on this topic just from the students and post-docs I’ve met here. I’m excited to see the perspectives from people of different cultures I’ll encounter at the meeting in Lindau.”

Sams said he was pleased that the students and post-docs were getting so much out of the workshop and were excited for their upcoming trip. 

“We hope we are building lifelong relationships between our university and these future scholars. Perhaps the next time they visit Lindau, they will be faculty researchers representing Texas A&M as Nobel Laureates.”  


Students and Post-Docs Selected to Attend the 73rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, Supported by Texas A&M:

Kevin Allen, Doctoral Student, Rice University
Hillary Diane Andales, Undergraduate Student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Keyu Ding, Doctoral Student, University of South Dakota
Madison Edwards, Doctoral Student, Texas A&M University
Addy Evans, Doctoral Student, Texas A&M University
Pratiksha Balasaheb Gaikwad, Doctoral Student, University of Florida
Shachar Gottlieb, Undergraduate Student, Texas A&M University 
Alex Hilty, Undergraduate Student, Texas A&M University
Gabriel Larios, Post-Doc, Texas A&M University
Adrià Delhom i Latorre, Doctoral Student, Louisiana State University
Siyang Li, Doctoral Student, Johns Hopkins University
Ali Binai Motlagh, Doctoral Student, Columbia University
Emery Nibigira, Post-Doc, University of Tennessee
Junellie Gonzalez Quiles, Doctoral Student, Johns Hopkins University
Alex Strasser, Doctoral Student, Texas A&M University
David Thomas, Undergraduate Student, Texas A&M University
Sarah Vickers, Master's Student, University of North Carolina
Jiaxuan Wang, Doctoral Student, Texas A&M University
Ziqin Yue, Doctoral Student, Rice University
Barkotel Zemenu, Undergraduate Student, Yale University
Michael Zengel, Undergraduate Student, University of Alabama
 
 

Students and Post-Docs Attending the 73rd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting and the Pre-Meeting Workshop, Supported by Amgen  

Jeffrey Backus, Doctoral Student, Princeton University
Hannah Dattilo, Doctoral Student, Vanderbilt University
Dipa Ghindani, Post-Doc, Harvard University
Miriam Hiebert, Post-Doc, University of Maryland
Noah Hoppis, Doctoral Student, University of Maryland
Pratik Prasad Joshi, Post-Dock, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Anurag Panda, Post-Doc, Harvard University
Kamal Rudra, Master’s Student, University of Michigan
Adam Shaw, Doctoral Student, California Institute of Technology
Ariana Shearin, Doctoral Student, University of Maryland
Kathryn Sturge, Doctoral Student, University of Maryland


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Media Contact: Rob Dixon, rdixon@tamu.edu; 979-458-8584

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Rob Dixon

Rob joined the Graduate and Professional School in February of 2020. He oversees communications and marketing for the Grad School. His favorite part of his job is writing about student successes.

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