PGI physician will get Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar award

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 26

Dr Ritesh Agarwal, Professor in Department of Pulmonary Medicine, PGIMER, has been awarded the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology for the year 2020 in the medical sciences category, for his significant contributions in the field of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA).

The award is named after the founder Director of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) India, the late Dr Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar. The prize is given each year for outstanding contributions in science and technology.

Dr Agarwal is the first faculty from the PGI, Chandigarh, to be honoured with this award.

Commending Prof Agarwal’s distinct accomplishment, Prof Jagat Ram, Director, PGIMER, said, “It is a matter of great pride not only for the institute but also for the region. This rare honour won by Prof Agarwal is hugely motivational and exemplary for others to follow his footsteps.”

Prof Agarwal has been systematically exploring this perplexing disease over the last 10 years and has more than 90 publications describing the epidemiology, diagnosis, management, and several first-time descriptions.

In the last five years, he has validated several existing diagnostic and classification criteria and has proposed new criteria for the diagnosis and classification of ABPA, which are used to diagnose ABPA world over.

The most significant work of Dr Agarwal is in the treatment of ABPA. Before his research, there was no dosing protocol for oral glucocorticoids. His research has shown that lower doses of oral steroids are sufficient in the treatment of ABPA. Moreover, two of his studies demonstrating the efficacy of antifungal drugs are practice-changing, as patients can now be spared of the serious adverse effects of glucocorticoids.

Dr Agarwal has more than 500 publications in peer-reviewed National and International Journals. He has also received the ICMR Kamal Satbir Award for the year 2009, and the NASI-Scopus young scientist award for the year 2011, and the ICMR Shakuntala Amir Chand Award for the year 2012, for his dedicated work in the field of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.

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