Genetic medicine specialist Sir Ganga Ram Dr. IC Verma won Padma Shri
Among this year’s Padma Shri awardees is Dr Ishwar Chandra Verma, Consultant, Institute of Medical Genetics and Genomics at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, who has become the only doctor from Delhi to win the country’s fourth highest civilian award in 2023.
Dr. Verma is a renowned specialist in Genetic Medicine and has been working at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital for many years.
After practicing medicine in East Africa for a year and a half, he received training in pediatrics and genetics from London.
From 1967 to 1996, he worked at AIIMS where he established himself as Professor of Pediatrics and Head of the Department of Genetics. Later, this unit was recognized as WHO Collaborating Center in Genetics for reliable performance. After AIIMS, he joined Sir Ganga Ram Hospital as the Head of the Department of Genetic Medicine.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Dr Verma said that it is a matter of great pride for him and he is happy that his 50 years of work has been recognised. “I have been working in genetics for so long and started at a time when not many people were interested in this field. I have worked with many tribal communities in Kerala, Odisha, Andaman,” he said, adding that understanding genetics plays a very important role in patient care. “The study of genetics is based on DNA which decides our future. Although it gets modified by environment and certain conditions, it is a deciding factor for treatment and health care,” said Dr Verma.
Dr Verma is also trained in genetics at the Children’s Hospital in Zurich, which comes under the University of Zurich, the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, USA and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, USA.
He has been the recipient of various prestigious awards including FRCP Fellowship, Ranbaxy Science Award, ICMR, NAMS and BC Roy Medical Council Award.
In 2003, he made a successful entry in the Limca Book of Records as a pioneer in genetics in India. To take his knowledge to the world, Dr. Verma has trained in several national and international health organizations.
For the past two decades, Dr. Verma has been a member of the Advisory Body of the Committee on Genetic Disorders of the World Health Organization. He headed the Indian Society of Human Genetics.
His research made valuable contributions to the field of pediatric genetics and community health in India.