Gagandeep Kang becomes first Indian female FRS; Christina Koch set to record for longest spaceflight - Current Affairs

Gagandeep Kang is the first Indian woman scientist getting selected as Fellow of Royal Society (FRS) in 358 years of history of this prestigious scientific academy.

Created On: Apr 19, 2019 10:17 ISTModified On: Apr 19, 2019 10:54 IST
Gagandeep Kang

Story 1: Gagandeep Kang becoms 1st Indian woman scientist in Fellow of Royal Society in 358 years

Gagandeep Kang has become first Indian woman scientists selected for Fellow of Royal Society (FRS), London. She is the first Indian woman scientist getting selected as FRS in 358 years of history of this prestigious scientific academy.

She is known for her interdisciplinary research, development and prevention of enteric infections in children in India. In her achievements, Kang has built national rotavirus and typhoid surveillance networks, established laboratories to support vaccine trials and conducted phase 1-3 clinical trials of vaccines.  Among the 2019 announcements apart from Dr Gagandeep Kang, Mumbai-born Padma Bhushan awardee Dr Yusuf Hamied has also elected as Honorary Fellow.

Fellows of the Royal Society -2019

Professor Salim S. Abdool Karim FRS

Director, Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), CAPRISA Professor of Global Health, Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of KwaZulu-Natal

Professor Charles Bangham FMedSci FRS

Professor of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London

Professor Gurdyal Besra FMedSci FRS

Bardrick Professor of Microbial Physiology and Chemistry, Institute of Microbiology and Infection, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham

Professor Manjul Bhargava FRS

R. Brandon Fradd Professor of Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, Princeton University

Professor Caucher Birkar FRS

Professor of Mathematics, Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics, University of Cambridge

Professor Benjamin Blencowe FRS

Professor and Banbury Chair in Medical Research, University of Toronto

Dr James Briscoe FRS

Senior Group Leader, Developmental Dynamics Laboratory, Francis Crick Institute

Professor Peter Butler FRS

Professor of Physics, Department of Physics, University of Liverpool

Professor Lucy Carpenter FRS

Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of York

Professor Sarah C. Darby FRS

Professor of Medical Statistics, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford

Professor George Davey Smith FMedSci FRS

Professor of Clinical Epidemiology,  Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol


Some statistics about this year’s intake are as follows:

  • 13 of this year’s intake of Fellows (10) and Foreign Members (3) are women
  • 15 newly elected Fellows and 7 Foreign Members are primarily affiliated with US-based institutions
  • Newly elected Fellows and Foreign Members are from across the UK and Commonwealth, as well as international institutions in Argentina, Israel, and the Netherlands

Professor Martin Embley FRS

Professor of Molecular Evolutionary Biology, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Dr Bernard Fanaroff FRS

Special Advisor to the Managing Director, South African Radio Astronomy Observatory and Square Kilometre Array South Africa

Professor Jonathan Flint FRS

Billy and Audrey Wilder Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles

Professor Véronique Gouverneur FRS

Professor of Chemistry, Chemistry Research Laboratory, University of Oxford

Professor Christopher Hacon FRS

McMinn Presidential Endowed Chair, and Distinguished Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Utah

Professor Mark Handley FRS

Professor of Networked Systems, Department of Computer Science, University College London

Professor Richard Harland FRS

CH Li Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Senior Associate Dean of Biological Sciences, Genomics and Development, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley

Professor Peter Haynes FRS

Professor of Applied Mathematics, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics University of Cambridge

Professor Martin Head-Gordon FRS

Kenneth S Pitzer Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley and Senior Faculty Scientist, Chemical Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Professor Matthew Hurles FRS

Senior Group Leader and Head of Human Genetics, Wellcome Sanger Institute

Professor Richard Jozsa FRS

Leigh Trapnell Professor of Quantum Physics, Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge

Professor Gagandeep Kang FRS

Executive Director, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, India

Professor Steve Kay FRS

Provost Professor of Neurology and Director of Convergent Bioscence, University of Southern California

Professor John-Michael Kendall FRS

BGS Professor of Geophysics, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol

Professor Roy Kerr FRS

Canterbury Distinguished Professor, Mathematics Department, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Professor Jonathan Knight FRS

Professor of Physics, Department of Physics, University of Bath and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), University of Bath

Honorary Fellow

Dr Yusuf Hamied FRS

Chairman, Cipla

About Royal Society

It’s origin lie in a 1660 ‘invisible college’ of natural philosophers and physicians. Today they have UK’s national science academy and a Fellowship of some 1,600 of the world’s most eminent scientists. The Royal Society's motto 'Nullius in verba' is taken to mean 'take nobody's word for it.' Isaac Newton (1672), Charles Darwin (1839), Michael Faraday (1824), Ernest Rutherford (1903), Albert Einstein (1921), Dorothy Hodgkin (1947), Alan Turing (1951) and Francis Crick (1959), Srinivasa Ramanujan (1918) and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1944) were some eminent scientists awarded by FRS.

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Story 2: Christina Koch to set record for longest spaceflight by a woman

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that astronaut Christina Koch is going to have her mission on the International Space Station (ISS) extended to 328 days. She would set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.

Michigan resident and forty years old Christina Koch is already on ISS; she reached there on March 14, 2019. She will remain in space until February 2020 that will complete her 328 days stay in ISS. As per the records, If Koch completes her 328 days on ISS; she will break the record for the single longest spaceflight by a woman of 288 days set by retired astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2016-17.

Key Highlights

  • Koch and fellow NASA astronaut Nick Hague, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin will remain aboard the space station and begin Expedition 60.
  • In about three months’ time, she will be joined by two NASA astronauts, Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir, who will make their first spaceflight in July.
  • Meir is set to fly back earlier, Morgan will reportedly remain at the ISS until at least March 2020, further contributing to the study of how extended space travel can impact bodily systems and have altering effects on us.
  • Koch will also enter the list of the most illustrious women in the field of astronomy, alongside the likes of Sunita Williams and Katie Bouman.
  • Koch’s return to Earth is set for some time in February 2020.

About NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. NASA was established in 1958, succeeding the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency was to have a distinctly civilian orientation, encouraging peaceful applications in space science. Since its establishment, most US space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. NASA is supporting the International Space Station and is overseeing the development of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, the Space Launch System and Commercial Crew vehicles. The agency is also responsible for the Launch Services Program which provides oversight of launch operations and countdown management for unmanned NASA launches.

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