Meenakshi Wadhwa is Director of the Center for Meteorite Studies and Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. She received her PhD in Earth and Planetary Science in 1994 from Washington University in St. Louis. Her research focuses on the origin and evolution of the Solar System and planets through studies of meteorites, Moon rocks and other extraterrestrial samples returned by spacecraft missions. She has hunted for meteorites in Antarctica with the NASA- and NSF-funded Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) Program. Dr. Wadhwa serves on several national and international advisory committees, including the National Academies Space Studies Board (which advises US policy makers on all aspects of space science and applications) and the NASA Advisory Council’s Planetary Protection Subcommittee (which provides recommendations on matters relating to the biological planetary protection of Earth and all Solar System bodies to which NASA spacecraft will be sent). She currently also serves as Vice President of the Meteoritical Society. She is a fellow of the Explorers Club (2012) and the Meteoritical Society (2006). She is a recipient of the Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award (2015), the Guggenheim Fellowship (2005) and the Nier Prize of the Meteoritical Society (2000). Asteroid 8356 has been named 8356 Wadhwa in recognition of her contributions to planetary science.