Renowned dermatologist and the architect of dermatology course in Tamil Nadu, A.S. Thambiah, died here on Wednesday morning after a brief illness. He was 87.
Arthur Saravanakumar Thambiah was born in 1924 to doctor parents. Following in their footsteps he went on to obtain a medical degree from Madras Medical College where he was a recipient of many prizes. Dr. Thambiah then did his post graduation and trained in London, Cambridge, and Edinburgh.
On his return to his alma mater, he was soon selected to its dermatology department. In 1961 the first professorial chair was instituted in the department, and Dr. Thambiah became the first professor.
From then on, he worked on structuring PG courses in Dermatology, teaching, conducting research, and treating patients. His students recall with fondness the vigorous teaching methods of their professor, who remained wedded to dermatology.
He won several international awards and recognitions. He was elected the Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh), Fellow of the Indian Academy of Medical Sciences, and elected Emeritus Member of the British association of Dermatologists. The BC Roy award for Eminent Medical Teacher came in 1978. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Madras in 1985. Dr. Thambiah was an active campaigner against nuclear weapons and a member of the Physicians for Peace movement.
A prayer service was held on Wednesday evening at Wesley Church, Egmore. The funeral took place at the Kilpauk cemetery.