Two Indian American physicians, Anand Veeravagu, M.D., and Dave Chokshi, M.D., are among 15 accomplished Americans to be named to the 2012-2013 class of White House Fellows, it was announced Sept. 4.
Veeravagu is chief neurosurgery resident at Stanford University Hospital and Clinics. His operative interests include all fields of neurosurgery; aside from his basic science research work, he also maintains a strong interest in business development and entrepreneurship, according to his official bio.
Veeravagu, a native of Colleyville, Texas, pursues specialized research in neuro-oncology, and he has developed a novel radio-immunotherapy for cancer treatment. Veeravagu is the recipient of numerous awards, scholarships and fellowships throughout his career, including a fellowship from the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin in 2005.
In 2011, Veeravagu served at the CURE Neurosurgical Hospital in Uganda, and organized medical relief missions for Southeast Asian tsunami victims 2004. More recently, Veeravagu received the Gold Foundation’s Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award for his commitment to mentorship, said a statement from the White House.
Chokshi recently completed an internal medicine residency at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston.
He graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Duke University with a double-major in chemistry and public policy; while at Duke, he was elected as a faculty scholar, the highest academic honor at Duke.
The 2002 Rhodes Scholar also served as chairman of Duke’s Honor Council and as editor-in-chief of the science magazine Vertices; and was a Howard Hughes Research Fellow in molecular immunology while at Duke. Most recently, Chokshi has begun a project to implement risk prediction tools in cardiology, working with the clinical software company Proventys.
Last year, Chokshi — who was born and raised in Baton Rouge, La. — participated in NOLABound, an initiative designed to give 25 young professionals the opportunity to help shape the city’s future.
“I worked with the Louisiana Department of Health both before and after Katrina, and my work there gave me a different perspective on the city. I have been following its halting recovery, both in terms of health care and in many other sectors, and I think we can do better,” Chokshi said in a statement.
This year’s crop of 30 White House Fellowship finalists had included two other Indian Americans — Darshak Sanghavi, M.D., chief of pediatric cardiology at the University of Massachusetts; and Shireen Santosham, a senior associate with McKinsey and Company in Baltimore, Md.
The White House Fellows Program was created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. “This unique opportunity to work within our nation’s government is designed to encourage active citizenship and a lifelong commitment to service. The Fellows also take part in an education program designed to broaden their knowledge of leadership, policy formulation, and current affairs,” said a spokesperson.
Community service is an essential element of the program, and Fellows participate in service projects throughout the year in the Washington, D.C., area.