V. Ramalingaswami
Born8 August 1921
Died28 May 2001(2001-05-28) (aged 79)
Alma materAndhra Medical College
Scientific career
InstitutionsAll India Institute of Medical Sciences,
Indian Council of Medical Research,
Indian National Science Academy

Vulimiri Ramalingaswami (8 August 1921 – 28 May 2001)[1][2] was an Indian medical scientist, pathologist and medical writer. His pioneering research on nutrition got him elected to the National Academy of Sciences, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society of London.[3]

He was also the director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences and later on director general of Indian Council of Medical Research and President of the Indian National Science Academy. He was regarded a teacher of international repute in the areas of nutritional deficiency. He has been honoured with Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award.[4] by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in 1967 and Padma Shri in 1969, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan by Government of India,[5] KK Birla National Award, and Basanti Devi Amirchand Prize (ICMR) in 1966. Leon Bernard Foundation Award[6] was presented to him by Sir Harold Walter, president of the 1976 World Health Assembly.

Early life

He was born in a Telugu speaking family in Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh to V. Gumpaswami and V. Sundaramma. His father was a government servant. He received his medical education from Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam and then went on a scholarship to Oxford.

He became the Director of the All India Institute of medical sciences(AIIMS).[7] and served the premier institute for 10 years 1969–1979). He became the Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi. In remembrance of his great service, the Indian Government has decided to name the Indian Council of Medical Research building after him (Ramalingaswami Bhavan). He was also President of the Indian National Science Academy. He was Special Advisor to World Health Organization and President of National Institute of Immunology.

He has served as Chair of the International Task Force on Health Research for Development in Geneva (1990–93). He was Secretary-General of the International Conference on Nutrition, in Rome in December 1992. He was appointed to the Board of Governors of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada in 1999.[6]


Selected publications

  1. Ramalingaswami, V.; Menon, P. S.; Venkatachalam, P. S. (1948). "Infantile pellagra; report on five cases". The Indian Physician. 7 (9): 229–237. PMID 18099153.
  2. Ramalingaswami, V.; Sinclair, H. M. (1953). "The relation of deficiencies of vitamin a and of essential fatty acids to follicular hyperkeratosis in the rat". The British Journal of Dermatology. 65 (1): 1–22. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.1953.tb13159.x. PMID 13018993. S2CID 26835831.
  3. Ramalingaswami, V., Sriramachari, S., and Patwardhan, V. N., Ind. J. Med. Sci., 8, 433 (1954).
  4. Ramalingaswami, V.; Leach, E. H.; Sriramachari, S. (1955). "Ocular structure in vitamin a deficiency in the monkey". Quarterly Journal of Experimental Physiology and Cognate Medical Sciences. 40 (4): 337–347. doi:10.1113/expphysiol.1955.sp001134. PMID 13280814.
  5. Ramalingaswami, V.; Subramanian, T. A.; Deo, M. G. (1961). "The aetiology of Himalayan endemic goitre". Lancet. 1 (7181): 791–794. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(61)90118-0. PMID 13739307.
  6. Ramalingaswami, V. (1964). "Perspectives in Protein Malnutrition". Nature. 201 (4919): 546–551. Bibcode:1964Natur.201..546R. doi:10.1038/201546a0. PMID 14160638. S2CID 5893960.
  7. Ramalingaswami, V. (1969). "Interface of protein nutrition and medicine in the tropics". Lancet. 2 (7623): 733–736. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(69)90440-1. PMID 4186178.
  8. Ramalingaswami, V.; Nayak, N. C. (1970). "Liver disease in India". Progress in Liver Diseases. 3: 222–235. PMID 4910369.
  9. Ramalingaswami, V. (1973). "Endemic goiter in Southeast Asia. New clothes on an old body". Annals of Internal Medicine. 78 (2): 277–283. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-78-2-277. PMID 4265088.
  10. Ramalingaswami, V. (1977). "Knowledge and action in the control of vitamin a deficiency". Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 300 (1): 210–220. Bibcode:1977NYASA.300..210R. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1977.tb19319.x. PMID 279269. S2CID 44343761.
  11. Ramalingaswami, V.; Purcell, R. (1988). "Waterborne Non-A, Non-B Hepatitis". The Lancet. 331 (8585): 571–573. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(88)91362-1. PMID 2894501. S2CID 28664017.
  12. V. Ramalingaswami, Prevention of Micronutrient Deficiencies: Tools for Policymakers and Public Health Workers, The National Academies Press (1998).
  13. V. Ramalingaswami, The Public health imperative of permanent elimination of iodine deficiency, 2000.


  1. ^ Menon, M. G. K.; Tandon, P. N. (2008). "Vulimiri Ramalingaswami. 8 August 1921 -- 28 May 2001". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 54: 297–317. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2007.0033.
  2. ^ Mittra, I. (2002). "Vulimiri Ramalingaswami". BMJ. 324 (7331): 242f–. doi:10.1136/bmj.324.7331.242f. PMC 1122163.
  3. ^ "Lists of Royal Society Fellows 1660–2007". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  4. ^ http://www.education.nic.in/cd50years/12/8I/6G/8I6G0801.html[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b "National Academy of Sciences October 1, 1980". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 77 (12): 7513–7538. 1 December 1980. doi:10.1073/pnas.77.12.7513. PMC 350539. PMID 7012842.
  7. ^ "AIIMS - All India Institute of Medical Science".