Panangipalli Venugopal

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Panangipalli Venugopal
Born (1942-07-06) 6 July 1942 (age 77)
Occupation Cardiac Surgeon
Awards Padma Bhushan
Dr. B. C. Roy Award,
Sivananda Eminent Citizen Award
Indira Priyadarsini Award
Goyal Prize
Vijay Ratna Award
Award of Excellence
Dr. N.C. Joshi Memorial Oration Award
Dr. Jal R. Vakil Memorial Award
Dr. Pinnamaneni and Mrs. Sithadevi Award
Rashtra Ratan Award
Dhanvantari Award
Life Time Achievement Award
Great Achiever of India Award
Manav Sewa Award
Shresht Shree Award
Dr. K. Sarom Cardiology Excellence Award
Ratna Shiromani Award
Website Official web site

Panangipalli Venugopal is an Indian Cardiovascular surgeon and hospital administrator from Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh, India who is widely regarded as a pioneer in cardiac surgery.[1] The Government of India honored him, in 1998, with the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award, for his services to the field of Medicine.[2]

Life sketch

Venogopal was born at Rajahmundry in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, on 6 July 1942. He enrolled at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, in 1959 to secure his MBBS and continued his higher education at the institute itself. His first post graduate degree was the Master of Surgery (MS) which was followed by MCh in cardiovascular thoracic surgery, which he passed with honors.[3]

In 1970-71, subsequent to his specialization, he joined the Faculty of AIIMS. the major part of his career was spent at AIIMS where he rose progressively, serving as the professor, the Head of the Department and then the Dean, before reaching the post of the Director, the highest academic position on offer at AIIMS, on 1 July 2003.[2][3]

Soon after joining AIIMS, Venugopal participated in two advanced training programs, an adult Open Heart Surgery training under Denton Cooley at the Texas Heart Institute and paediatric open heart surgery under S. Subramanian, at the Children's Hospital, Buffalo, New York following which he launched the open heart surgery clinic at AIIMS, under the guidance of Professor N. Gopinath, in 1974. This was followed by the establishment of the Cardiothoracic Sciences Centre, where he performed the first heart transplantation in India on 3 August 1994 and, later, for the first time in Asia, the implantation of the Left Ventricular Assist Device[3]

After retirement from AIIMS, Venugopal, moved to the Alchemist Institute of Medical Sciences, in Gurgaon, Haryana as the head of the Cardithoracic department.[4] He got married at the age of 55[5] and has a daughter.[6]


Venugopal has pioneered heart transplant surgery in India, having performed the first successful heart transplant in the country,[2] the count now standing at 26 transplants.[1] He performed the first implantation of left ventricular assist device, lasting for more than 90 days, in Asia. He introduced the stem cell therapy,[2] for the first time in India, by the deployment of autologous stem cell implantation for repairing the myocardium as an alternative to transplantation, which he did on 26 patients. He pioneered the stem cell implantation procedure in pancreas for the treatment of Type II Diabetes.[1] On the prolificacy of Venugopal, media reports are in general agreement of his involvement in the performance of over 50,000 open heart[2] and 12,000 closed heart surgeries.[1][3][7] He has been a recognized trainer, too, with more than 100 cardio-thoracic surgeons around the world, trained under him.[1]

On the administrative front, he, along with N. Gopinath, started the open heart surgery in AIIMS. He was also behind the setting up of the Cardiothoracic Sciences Centre, which later became the venue of the first hear transplant surgery in India and the first Left Ventricular Assist Device implantation in Asia. The centre now handles around 3500 open heart surgical procedures annually.[3]

First heart transplant

The Organ Transplant Bill 1994 was passed in the Indian Parliament in May 1994 which legalized the organ transplants in India. The Bill was on the Table of the President of India for final approval when Venugopal led a team of doctors to perform the first successful heart transplant in India on 3 August 1994.[8] This was the first of the 26 heart transplant procedures performed by Venugopal.[9]


AIIMS Central lawn, with teaching block in the background

In the fag end of 2005 and at the beginning of 2006, about 200 faculty members, including 25 department heads, of AIIMS submitted their disapproval of Venugopal's way of functioning to the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India.[10] The protest intensified when, a batch of students marched to the office of the Director, resulting in the suspension of 6 of them, an act which had no precedent in the Institute. The main argument of the faculty and the students that the hike in charges implemented by the Director went against the mandate of AIIMS.[11]

Further, the grouse of the faculty was also aimed at the appointment of Venugopal, at the age of 61 and already past the retirement age, as the Director of the institute, with a clause to retain him for the next 5 years and until further orders. The move was reported to have shut out the chances of 6 senior faculty members. They were also against the Director holding two posts of the Head of the Cardiovascular Sciences Centre and the Head of Cardothoracic and Vascular Surgery as the posts required full-time attention.[11] On 29 November 2007, Professor venugopal was removed in favor of Prof. T D Dogra, an authority on Forensic Medicine.,[12][13][14][15] by an order from the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Anbumani Ramadoss, the reason reported to be Venugopal's open criticism of the Union Government.[16] The Health and Family Welfare ministry, it was reported, was not happy with Venugopal's handling of the quota issue where the Government planned to reserve 50 per cent of the university seats for the socially under-privileged, a move Venugopal was said to have countered using student sentiments.[16][17] He moved to the Supreme Court and was reinstated for a period 45 days in summer vacation of 2008 before his retirement.[18]

The Ministry had appointed M. S. Valiathan, the noted cardiothoracic surgeon, to report on the functioning of AIIMS and make recommendations on improvements.[19][20] Venugopal was reported to be unhappy about the Ministry's intervention in the functioning of AIIMS and contested the termination at the Supreme Court of India, by way of a writ petition, on which the Court passed an interim order on 7 July 2006, staying the termination, till the validity of the decision was assessed.[16] After a protracted legal battle, the Supreme Court, reinstated Venugopal, on 8 April 2008.,[21] terming the Government act as malafide and unconstitutional.[21]


Awards and recognitions

Academic recognitions

  1. Gold Medal for the Best Undergraduate - All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 1963[3]
  2. Gold Medal for the Merit of First Order - All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 1967[3]
  3. Honoris Causa Doctor of Science (DSc) - Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences[3]
  4. Honoris Causa Doctor of Science (DSc) - Rajasthan University of Health Sciences[3]

Social recognitions

  1. Padma Bhushan - Government of India - 1998[2]
  2. Dr. B. C. Roy Award[1]
  3. All India Institute of Medical Sciences Lifetime Award for service of humanity - 2014[22]
  4. Sivananda Eminent Citizen Award - Sanathana Dharma Charitable Trust - 2010[3]
  5. Indira Priyadarsini Award - 1994[3]
  6. Goyal Prize - Kurukshetra University - 1994[3]
  7. Vijay Ratna Award - India International Friendship Society - 1994[3]
  8. Award of Excellence - Rajiv Gandhi Foundation - 1994[3]
  9. Dr. N. C. Joshi Memorial Oration Award - 1995[3]
  10. Dr. Jal R. Vakil Memorial Award - 1996[3]
  11. Dr. Pinnamaneni and Mrs Sithadevi Award - 1997[3]
  12. Rashtra Ratan Award - Vishwa Jagriti Mission, Yuva Manch - 2000[3]
  13. Dhanvantari Award - Dhanvantari Medical Foundation, Mumbai - 2010[3]
  14. Life Time Achievement Award - Heart Care Foundation, Kochi - 2010[3]
  15. Great Achiever of India Award - 1994[23]
  16. Manav Sewa Award - 1994[23]
  17. Shresht Shree Award[23]
  18. Dr. K. Sarom Cardiology Excellence Award[23]
  19. Ratna Shiromani Award[1]


  • Sunil P. Shenoy; Prashanth K. Marla; P. Venugopal; Karunakara K. Adappa; Trivikrama Padur Tantry; Murali Shankar; Guruprasad D. Rai (2011). "An Endoscopic Study of the Lacuna Magna and Reappraisal of Its Clinical Significance in Contemporary Urological Practice". Urology. 78 (5): 1009–1015. doi:10.1016/j.urology.2011.05.013. PMID 21777960.
  • Sandeep Chauhan; Bisoi Akshay Kumar; Beeraka Heramba Rao; Marigaddi Sanjeeva Rao; Bharat Dubey; Nita Saxena; Panangipalli Venugopal (2010). "Efficacy of Aprotinin, Epsilon Aminocaproic Acid, or Combination in Cyanotic Heart Disease". Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
  • Harpreet Wasir; Anil Bhan; Shiv Kumar Choudhary; Rajesh Sharma; Sandeep Chauhan; Panangipalli Venugopal (2010). "Pretreatment of human myocardium with adenosine". European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.
  • R. Attia; P. Venugopal; D. Whitaker; C. Young (2010). "Management of a pulsatile mass coming through the sternum. Pseudoaneurysm of ascending aorta 35 years after repair of tetralogy of Fallot". Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. 10 (5): 820–822. doi:10.1510/icvts.2009.227900.
  • Rajiv Agrawal; Panangipalli Venugopal; Anil Bhan; Shiv Kumar Choudhary; Alok Mathur; Rajesh Sharma; Manoranjan Sahoo (2010). "Surgical myocardial revascularization without cardiopulmonary bypass". Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Express Healthcare". Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Hindutan Times". Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z "Sivananda citation". Award citation. Sanathana Dharma Charitable Trust. 21 December 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  4. ^ Nisha Susan (20 March 2010). "Where The Heart Goes On". Tehelka Magazine. 7 (11).
  5. ^ "Timescrest". Timescrest. 12 February 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Tehelka". Tehelka. 20 March 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Tehelka Nisha Susan". 20 March 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  8. ^ A N Sengupta (31 August 1994). "Heart Transplant". India Today. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  9. ^ "HT". Hindustan Times. 31 May 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2014.
  10. ^ "Dr DoLittle or dr dotoomuch?". Tehelka. 25 February 2006. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  11. ^ a b Mihir Srivastava (25 February 2006). "Up Close". Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  12. ^ "Venugopal removed, T D Dogra is new AIIMS director". The Times of India. 30 November 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Top forensic doctor to be acting Director AIIMS". India 27 June 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Rajesh Talwar Prime Suspect in Aarushi Murder Case: CBI(12th para)". The Times of India. 2 January 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  15. ^ "The sheer power that a forensic science doctor at AIIMS holds". The News Minute. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  16. ^ a b c "Controversy". Web article. SciDev.Net. 10 July 2006. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  17. ^ George Thomas; Sandhya Srinivasan (2008). "The minister of health, the director of AIIMS and Shah Rukh Khan". Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. 5 (3).
  18. ^ "Supreme Court orders reinstatement of Dr Venugopal". India tody. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  19. ^ Pritha Chatterjee (19 January 2012). "Valiathan report 1". Journalism of Courage. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  20. ^ "Valiathan 2". Journalism of Courage. 8 December 2009. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  21. ^ a b "Academics India". Academics India. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  22. ^ Business Standard
  23. ^ a b c d "Great Achiever". Retrieved 17 August 2014.


External links

  • Reference on Cardio Thoracic Surgery Network
  • Reference on Sehat
  • List of publications on Microsoft Academic Search
  • Write up on Tehelka
  • Interview on Express Healthcare
  • Reference on Biographical Dictionary of Indian Scientists
  • Interview on legal battle
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