Vignesh Selvakumaran Awarded Penn’s Sobti Family Fellowship

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Media Contact:Jacquie Posey | jposey@upenn.edu | 215-898-6460May 14, 2014

The Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania has awarded its inaugural 2014-15 Sobti Family Fellowship to senior Vignesh Selvakumaran.

Established through a gift from alumnus Rajiv Sobti, Gr’84, and Slomi Sobti, Penn parents, the Fellowship is the first program at Penn to provide funding for a recent Penn graduate to conduct independent research in India.

Selvakumaran, from Malvern, Pa., will graduate on May 19 from the School of Engineering and Applied Science with a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering. As a Sobti Family Fellow, he will work with Aurolabs at Aravind Eye Care System in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, this fall.

His project aims to create a new low-cost medical device for cataract surgery. 

As part of a senior design requirement, Selvakumaran’s team designed a device to allow physicians to use pulse wave velocity to access patients’ cardiovascular health during regular check-ups. The group was awarded the Honorable Berger Award and took third place in the Engineering School’s Senior Design Competition.

“This opportunity helps invest in Penn students beyond graduation,” Devesh Kapur, CASI director and Madan Lal Sobti Associate Professor, said. “Through the Sobti Family Fellowship, a recent graduate can take their independent interests and research beyond the classroom towards real world applications. CASI can now support a graduating senior to further develop ideas in the field and provide a bridge between undergraduate studies and future scholarly aspirations. We look forward to guiding Vignesh as he begins work in India this fall.”

Selvakumaran is currently applying to medical school for the fall of 2015.

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