World’s Super Scientists – Viswanathan Raman

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Of tropical Eosinophilia fame “Father of Chest Medicine in India”- Viswanathan Raman

Viswanathan Raman, (1899 to 1982), physician, was born on 8th September, 1899 at Nagercoil, Tamilnadu.

Scientist Viswanathan Raman Educational qualifications

1921 B.A. Degree. 1926 MBBS degree.

1931 MD (Madras University).

1932 FRCP, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London.

1938 TDD Wales (Welsh National School of Medicine, Cardiff)

Scientist Viswanathan Raman Career

After return to India he joined as an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Madras Medical College and later worked as Professor, Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam.

From 1942 to 1946 World War II – served as Medical Specialist in the Indian Army.

In 1946 Col. Viswanathan joined the Directorate-General of Health Services as the Tuberculosis Adviser to the Government of India.

From 1946 to 1964 Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of Delhi University.He took over as founder Director of the Vallabhai Patel Chest Institute, New Delhi. In fact, that was his Temple!’

1953 visited United States as Leader, Exchange Programme, U.S.A.I.D. Regent for India of the American College of Chest Physicians.Dr. R. Viswanathan was entrusted with the responsible job of investigating the cause of an epidemic of infective hepatitis in Delhi in 1957-58.

Scientist Viswanathan Raman used his ingenuity in disclosing the culprit factor which was a leak of drainage pipe into Najafgarh nallah, a source of drinking water. This led to feco-oral contamination.
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1963 President, 8th National Congress on Diseases of Chest.

1964 Emeritus Scientist, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Professor, University of Delhi.

November 1974 he organised World Congress on Asthma, Bronchitis & conditions allied, in New Delhi.He published over 150 scientific papers in National and International journals. He was the author of seven books.

Scientist Viswanathan Raman Fellow :

Elected Fellow of Indian National Science Academy, 1969.

American College of Chest Physicians. Academy of Medical Sciences, India. Indian Association for Chest Diseases. Indian Science Congress Association.

Scientist Viswanathan Raman Awards and Honours

Padma Bhushan; Honorary Physician to the President of India.

In 1972 awarded Gold Medal by Tuberculosis Association of India for outstanding achievements.

Recipient of Dhanwantari Prize of the National Science Academy, Eugino Morelli Prize and Forlanini Medal from Italy.

Scientist Viswanathan Raman special contribution

Pulmonary  Eosinophilosis  (Tropical Eosinophilia) :

Viswanathan saw the first case in 1935 which was referred to him as a case of miliary tuberculosis. Later he could identify similar cases.

Scientist Viswanathan Raman first gave a note in the Annual Report for 1939 of King George Hospital, Visakhapatnam (Vizagapatam in those days, abbreviated as Vizag), South India; this is an analogy to Guy’s Hospital Records in London.

The course of the disease is benign and hardly ever fatal. Viswanathan has one more ‘first’ to his credit.General Studies Question Bank CD

The first case which came to autopsy in his hands died not of the disease, but due to a complication of arsenical encephalopathy which resulted from treatment with NAB (an arsenical preparation). This provided an opportunity for him to study the pathology in detail.

Scientist Viswanathan Raman died in harness on 14th July, 1982 in the centenary year of the discovery of the tubercle bacillus by Robert Koch.

In the 83rd year of his life he was exceptionally agile both physically and mentally. He was telling, “I would like to drive my car myself, not like to be driven.

Scientist Viswanathan Raman was a multi-splendoured personality— brilliant academician, a talented clinician, a gifted teacher, a prolific writer and a research worker of the highest calibre.

— Indian Journal of Tuberculosis, July 1982

Colonel Dr. R. Viswanathan was an examiner in the M.D. degree examination for the author. Dr. O.A. Sarma, the author of this book obtained the degree of M.D. in General Medicine including Tropical Diseases, in the hands of this stalwart scientist.

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