K. Mohandas, former Director of the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram, will be appointed the Vice Chancellor of the newly formed Kerala University of Health and Allied Sciences, Thrissur, Health Minister P. K. Sreemathy announced here on Tuesday.
Dr. Mohandas was the first anaesthesiologist in the world to head a university institution and the first Indian to receive the honorary fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists of the United Kingdom.
A postgraduate in anaesthesiology from the Christian Medical College, Vellore (D. A.) and the Mysore Medical College (M. D.), Dr. Mohandas began his career as the assistant professor of Anaesthesiology at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Medical Centre, the forerunner of the Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology. He was the chief anaesthetist when the first open heart surgery was performed at the Centre in 1976. He became a professor in 1981. After more than a decade as professor and head of the Department of Anaesthesia, he was appointed the Dean of the Institute in 1993. He took over as its Director in 1994.
Under his directorship, the Institute became the first of the laboratories in South Asia to be accredited to the International Standards Organisation for testing and evaluation of medical devices. More that 30 technologies were commercialised during this period. India’s first comprehensive care centres for epilepsy, acute coronary events and movement disorders were also established. In 2008, the Institute commenced M. Tech. in clinical engineering jointly with Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai; the first such course in India.
He has held various positions in professional organisations. These included presidentships of the Research Society of Anaesthesiology and Clinical Pharmacology and Society for Biomaterials and Artificial Organs of India. He was also the president of the Association of Indian Universities and the chairperson of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
He was honoured with Life Time Achievement Awards by the Indian Association of Cardiovascular-thoracic Anaesthesiologists, the Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine and the Heart Foundation.