Professor Chinnusamy Palanivelu
Areas of Interest
Honorary Doctor of Science, 2015
Dr Palanivelu is an internationally renowned surgeon, researcher, philanthropist, and Chairman of the Gastro Enterology Medical Hospital & Research Centre in the city of Coimbatore, Southern India.
Dr Palanivelu was born to a family of agricultural workers and had to overcome a great many challenges to gain access to, and complete, his early education. Yet from humble beginnings he quickly rose to prominence within the Indian medical community. He specialises in minimally invasive gastro-intestinal surgery and has developed many new techniques in laparoscopic surgery. His work has been recognised around the world for many years.
In 2003 Dr Palanivelu was awarded the Fellowship ad hominem by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Then in 2006 he was the recipient of the Dr B C Roy National Award, presented by the Indian Medical Association in recognition of his ground-breaking work in gastro-intestinal surgery. In 2007 Dr Palanivelu served as President of the Association of Surgeons in India, and in 2009 became the first Indian physician to win the ‘Olympic Silver Medal in International Olympic Surgery’ in the USA. He is also the founding President of the Association of Minimal Access Surgeons of India. In addition, he has published three books on laparoscopy: Art of Laparoscopic Surgery; Textbook of Laparoscopic Surgery; and CIGES Atlas of Laparoscopic Surgery.
Dr Palanivelu is concerned not only with advancing the techniques in laparoscopic surgery, but also with making life-saving and life-changing surgery accessible to people with limited means. To this end, he runs the GEM Foundation, a charitable organisation that provides access to free medical treatment for people living in and around Coimbatore, where the Foundation maintains a 20-bed ward at the Gastro Enterology Medical Hospital. He also conducts frequent medical camps and runs mobile clinics at remote villages across the region, as part of an ongoing ‘reach the unreachable’ programme.
Dr Palanivelu’s ground-breaking work in laparoscopic surgery, which of course is one of the key themes of our ICENI Centre for minimally invasive surgery in Colchester, together with his commitment to bringing better medical services to the poor people of India, make him an outstanding role model for our students.