Neel Moudgal Tops 2023 Regeneron Science Talent Search and Wins $250K; Other Two Indians Finish among 10

“The future is us (Indians),” said Guneet Monga in her ecstatic speech after winning an Oscar for “The Elephant Whisperers.” Indeed, the world is looking at India and her diaspora for abundance of talent. Recently, it found context in the appointment of Vimal Kapur as Honeywell’s CEO, and the selection of Natasha Perianayagam as one of the world’s brightest students. Now three budding STEM leaders of Indian descent – Neel Moudgal, Ambika Grover, and Siddhu Pachipala – testify to what Guneet Monga proudly said.

Neel Moudgal won the 2023 Regeneron Science Talent Search, America’s oldest and most prestigious STEM competition. Also known as the US’ Junior Nobel in math and science, this competition “brings together the best and brightest young minds to present their experimental projects, futuristic solutions, scientific innovations, and mind-blowing problem-solving abilities to leading scientists.

Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023 winners, Neel Moudgal Michigan, Ambika Grover Connecticut, Siddhu Pachipala Texas

Neel Moudgal (left), Ambika Grover (middle), Siddhu Pachipala (right)

Neel Moudgal, Michigan 

17-year-old Neel Moudgal glorified not only Indian Diaspora but also his home country, India by having won the 2023 Regeneron Science Talent Search. He received the top award of $250,000 for developing a unique computer model that can quickly predict the structure of various RNA molecules based on easily available data. He demonstrated in his computational biology and bioinformatics project how this invention will facilitate reliable diagnosis and treatment of certain deadly diseases. Neel Moudgal’s computational model is faster and more reliable than the existing methods that use chemical shift data from the magnetic vibration of atoms to predict RNA structures.

The Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023 winner, Neel Moudgal is a programmer for the robotics team at Saline High School near Detroit. He is also a second-degree black belt in Taekwondo. Born to an immigrant couple – Vivek and Varsha Moudgal; Neel owes his love of chemistry and geology to his passion for collecting and studying rocks and minerals.

Ambika Grover, Connecticut 

Ambika Grover, 17, finished sixth among the 10 winners of the 2023 Regeneron Science Talent Search and received $80,000 for her remarkable innovation for stroke patients. She engineered microscopic, injectable bubbles coated with small proteins called peptides. Iron oxide nanoparticles in peptides which cling to blood clots easily work like clot busters to help break up clots and prevent reformation of new clots. Her novel invention can be a lifesaving therapy for restoring the inflow of oxygen-rich blood into the brains of ischemic stroke victims.

Ambika, a resident of Riverdale in Connecticut, is the president of the “Girls Who Code” club at Greenwich High School. She holds a provisional patent for “research using nitric oxide in exhaled breath as a marker for exposure to pollution.” Cardiovascular disease research is one of her goals.

Siddhu Pachipala, Texas 

Siddhu Pachipala is the third Indian among the winners of the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023. He stood ninth and won a $50,000 award for developing a machine learning tool that can prevent suicide attempts. His low-cost invention is a real-time suicide risk identification tool that works by assessing patients’ writing or journal entries and uses semantics to measure their psychological health. This can also help decide the best course of treatment for such high-risk patients.

18-year-old Siddhu Pachipala is a research intern at EdgeLab in the University of California. He taught K-12 students the art of listening to people’s concerns for human-centered problem solving at a hackathon that he organized for Stanford University. His parents – Sharmila Naidu and Krishna Pachipala – call The Woodlands home in Texas.

This story is part of our continued effort to give a shoutout to achievements of Young Indians in America. Travel Beats is a subsidiary of, a most trusted air-ticketing partner for Indians in the US. Indian Eagle has a proven track record of booking discounted flight tickets to India from USA.

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