University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign senior Sriyankari Chitti, of Marlboro, New Jersey, and a graduate of the Medical Sciences Magnet Program at Freehold High School, has been named a Knight-Hennessy Scholar. She is one of 76 students to be offered this award from more than 8,000 applicants around the world.
A chemistry major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Chitti has been developing a new method of automating the construction of complex small molecules to enable a more efficient drug discovery process. Chitti says she aspires to create new therapeutics for widespread chronic diseases and to understand their underlying biochemical mechanisms.
A first-generation American, she has received multiple research grants to support her work, including the American Chemical Society Division of Organic Chemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, the Clare Boothe Luce Research Fellowship and the Barry Goldwater Scholarship. Chitti also has earned national awards for her presentations, has completed four graduate chemistry courses since her sophomore year of college and mentors fellow undergraduates in her lab and across campus.
She will use the Knight-Hennessy award to support a PhD in chemistry at the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences, along with funding from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program seeks to cultivate a diverse, multidisciplinary community of emerging leaders from around the world and guide them to collaborate, innovate and communicate as they prepare to address the complex challenges facing society. Knight-Hennessy Scholars are fully funded for up to three years of graduate study, including tuition and associated fees, living expenses, travel and academic enrichment funds.