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NASA Headquarters
Program Role
Manager, Prizes & Challenges


Shobhana Gupta is a physician scientist and currently serves as the Open Innovation and Community Applications manager with Earth Science Division’s Applied Sciences Program at NASA Headquarters. Shobhana manages crowdsourcing activities including prize competitions to invite talents and experiences outside of the NASA community for the discovery and development of applications of Earth observations for decision-making. She also supports the advancement and scaling of new ideas, products and services developed with the Applied Sciences Program, as well as community-based projects to address societal challenges through collaborations between community experts, policy- and decision-makers and subject matter experts in Earth science.

Shobhana has been with NASA for 3 years. Prior to her current role, Shobhana served as the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Science and Technology Policy fellow in the Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Program from 2015 to 2017, assisting program leadership with management of funded projects and activities for the Group on Earth Observations’ Health Community of Practice.

During her fellowship, Shobhana also served as the Earth Category lead in the 2016 hackathon event for NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge Program — the world’s largest hackathon. She then served as the program manager for the entire Space Apps Challenge Program for the 2017 hackathon event. Shobhana’s work with Space Apps was recognized in 2016 with the NASA Team Excellence Award, and in 2017 with the NASA Team Excellence Award and the NASA Blue Marble Award. Currently, Shobhana continues to serve as a member of the Space Apps Challenge Leadership Team to engage the brightest and most creative minds around the world to help solve problems in space and on Earth.

Shobhana completed her medical and graduate training at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, where she used nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to investigate the structure and function of ArsR, a transcription factor that regulates gene expression in Helicobacter pylori. Shobhana trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University School of Medicine in the Department of Neurology, where she used confocal and in vivo two-photon microscopy to understand mechanisms regulating local cerebral blood flow coupling to neuronal activity and their disruption in neurovascular pathologies.