Dr V. K. Vijayan


Director,  (October 5,1998 - June 30, 2011)

Dr V K Vijayan, a native of Tikkoti, Kozhikode District, was born in Badagara, Kerala State. He had his early education in his native place and had his medical education in Calicut Medical College, Kozhikode where from he took his MBBS degree in 1971. He did the postgraduate diploma course in Chest Diseases from the Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, Delhi in 1975 and MD in General Medicine from the Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi in 1977. He had pursued advanced training in Cardiology and Pulmonology from Brompton Hospital, London, UK under the Colombo Plan in 1983 and in Fibreoptic Bronchoscopy and Bronchoalveolar Lavage from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA under the Gandhi - Reagan Science and Technology Initiative in 1984. He obtained PhD degree in Medicine from the University of Madras in 1990 for his study on "Tropical Eosinophilia" and was awarded the DSc degree from the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University in 1996 for his work on "Bhopal Gas Disaster". He was elected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (FAMS) in Chest Diseases in 2001. He was a Member of the Scientific Staff of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in Chennai and had held various academic positions of ICMR (Research Officer, Senior Research Officer, Assistant Director, Deputy Director and Senior Deputy Director) from 1st November 1977 to 4th October 1998. He established the Cardio-pulmonary Medicine Department at Tuberculosis Research Centre of ICMR in Chennai which was inaugurated by Prof. Wallace Fox of the British Medical Research Council on 16th December 1981 and DrVijayan headed this Department till 4th October 1998. In recognition of his contributions, he was elected Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians, National Academy of Medical Sciences, National College of Chest Physicians (India), Indian College of Allergy and Applied Immunology, Indian College of Cardiology, Indian Society of Cardiology and Indian Association for Bronchology.


Dr Vijayan's major areas of scientific work include tropical eosinophilia, studies on Bhopal Gas Disaster victims, applied cardio-pulmonary physiology, chemotherapy of tuberculosis, exercise physiology, bronchial asthma and sleep-related breathing disorders. His studies on tropical eosinophilia had revealed persistence of chronic alveolitis leading to lung fibrosis in patients with tropical eosinophilia despite treatment with diethyl carbamazine. During the national calamity of the Bhopal Gas Disaster, Dr. Vijayan undertook research studies on gas disaster victims and his studies had clearly established that permanent lung damage had occurred in the survivors. His work on Bhopal Gas Disaster was editorially commented by the European Respiratory Journal. Dr. Vijayan was the recipient of many national and international awards/honours that include Talent Search Scheme Senior Research Fellowship of the ICMR, 1975; British Council Fellowship under Colombo Plan for training in Cardio-pulmonary Medicine at Brompton Hospital, London, UK, 1983; Dr. O.A. Sarma Endowment Lecture Award, Tuberculosis Association of Andhra Pradesh, 1989; ICMR National Award (Prof. B.K. Aikat Oration Award) in the field of "Tropical Diseases", 1991; nominated as International Governor for India, American College of Chest Physicians, USA for 8- year term (1993-2000); faculty member, symposium on "Tropical Lung Diseases", XVII World Congress on Diseases of the Chest at Amsterdam, 1993; Calicut Medical College Alumni Oration Award, 1994; ICMR National Award (AmrutModyUnichem Prize) in Chest Diseases, 1994; silver medal for the best paper (poster) presentation at the 9th International Conference on Occupational Respiratory Diseases organized by the International Labour Office and the Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association, Kyoto, Japan, 1997; ShrimatiYasodhara Memorial Oration Award by the Indian Chest Society, 1997; University of Madras Medicine Endowment Lecture Award, 1998; elected as International Regent for India, American College of Chest Physicians, USA for 6-year term (2000-2006); Ranbaxy-Robert Koch Oration of the Tuberculosis Association of India, 1999; D.N. Shivpuri Memorial Oration of the Indian College of Allergy and Applied Immunology, 2000; faculty member of the postgraduate course titled, "Agents of Terrorism: what physicians should know -respiratory effects of Bhopal Gas Disaster", Chest-2002 of the American College of Chest Physicians, San Dieago, USA, 2002; faculty member of the symposium on "Tropical Lung Diseases", 99th International Conference of the American Thoracic Society, Seattle, Washington, 2003; Dr. PremSobti-ABC Foundation Excellence Award for the Best Chest Specialist of India, 2003; NCCP(I)-Cipla Oration, 2004; Prof AK Nag Choudhury Memorial Lecture, Pharmacological Society of India, 2005; Sir Ronald Ross Memorial Oration, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Kolkata, 2005; Rashtriya Rattan Award for excellence in medical sciences by the International Study Circle affiliated to the Institute fo Economic studies, New Delhi, 2005; Santosham Memorial Oration of the Indian Association for Bronchology, 2005; 14th Foundation Day Oration of the Biotechnology Society of India, 2010; National Science Day Oration, Defense Institute of Physiology & Allied Sciences (DIPAS), 2010; Environmental Medical Association – Dr KC Mohanty Oration, Mumbai, 2011; Vice President, World Lung Foundation, South Asia, 2005; President, Indian Association for Bronchology, 2005-06; President, Indian College of Allergy, Asthma and Applied Immunology, 2007-08. Executive Council Member, Asian Pacific Society of Respirology, 2006-08; Chair, Clinical Respiratory Medicine Assembly, Asian Pacific Society of Respirology, 2006-11; Founder Vice President, Pulmonary Pathology Society of India, 2008; Founder President, South Asian Association of Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, 2008; Founder Vice-President, South Asia Thoracic Society, 2010; Founder President, Society for Tobacco Control, 2010;Founder President, Society for Nitric Oxide and Allied Radicals, 2011.Chairman, Committee for developing a Vision Document for the ICMR National Institute for Research in Environmental Health (NIREH) at Bhopal; Member, Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) for the Division of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD), ICMR and member, Scientific Advisory Committees (SAC) of National Institute of Occupational Health at Ahmedabad and National Institute for Research in Environmental Health (NIREH) at Bhopal. DrVijayan served as the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of the Indian Journal of Chest Diseases and Allied Sciences from 1998 to June, 2011. He had earlier been the Editor of the Journal "Lung India", the official publication of the Indian Chest Society from 1996-1999. He is a member of the Editorial Board of many Journals including Chest, Internal Medicine Journal of Thailand, Journal of Environmental Medicine, Thailand, Indian Journal of Tuberculosis, Chest (India Edition) and Thorax (India Edition). He has over 200 publications including review articles and editorials in leading peer-reviewed scientific periodicals of national and international repute. He has been invited by several scientific bodies and medical institutions as faculty member to deliver guest lectures, to participate in seminars/symposia and to chair scientific sessions on more than 700 occasions. He has been an expert member of various health-related committees of Government of India and other scientific bodies. 

Dr Vijayan joined the VPCI as Director on 5th October 1998, bringing with him the reputation of being an internationally renowned Chest Physician and one of the leading exponents in the field of medical education and research-a reputation that he truly lived up to during his eventful tenure. As Director of the Institute for nearly 13 years, he made major contributions in development of state of the art facilities for postgraduate teaching, biomedical research and patient care. During his tenure, the VPCI continued its commitment and contributions to academic and scientific advances. The upgradation in infrastructure, increase in extramurally funded research projects, and marked enhancement in the number of scientific research publications in high impact factor journals are evidence of progress made by the Institute. The patient care facility of the Institute, in particular, has since been augmented considerably with installation of state of the art diagnostic equipment, therapeuticand management facilities. The Viswanathan Chest Hospital (earlier known as Clinical Research Centre) and named after the Founder Director of the Institute, Prof Raman Viswanathan, is now a world class medical facility offering outpatient and inpatient management, including critical care services in chest diseases. The state of the art Paintal Memorial Golden Jubilee Auditorium (named after the illustrious late Prof Autar Singh Paintal), which is his brain child and built during his tenure, has been the venue for many national and international scientific meetings/conferences in which reputed international faculty have participated. Renovation of several departments, residential quarters and Institute buildings have provided a more sleek and modern look and a more comfortable working atmosphere. During his tenure, DrVijayan introduced several new patient care and research facilities including an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), a National Centre of Respiratory Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, a Tobacco Cessation Clinic, a Cardio-Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit, a state of the art Sleep Laboratory, a CT scanner, a Clinical Pharmacology Unit, and Yoga Therapy and Research Centre. Significant advancement in post-graduate medical education was made with the introduction of the DM (Pulmonary Medicine) course and the MCI approval for starting a Diploma Course in Allergy and Clinical Immunology at the VPCI. Dr Vijayan superannuated on 30th June, 2011.