DJC Lecture Series Inaugural Talk on ‘Ayurvedic Biology’ by Dr. M S Valiathan

March 16, 2023


For celebrating the MCOPS Diamond Jubilee through commemorative lectures, this session was the curtain-raiser for the series of lectures that will follow throughout the year, held on 16 March 2023 at 4PM in PGR conference hall. The esteemed speaker of the inaugural lecture was Dr Marthanda Varma Sankaran Valiathan, Padma Vibhushan Awardee and First Vice-Chancellor of Manipal University is an illustrious Cardiac Surgon of India with international recognitions as Fellow of Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Canada, George Washington and John Hopkins Universities. He is also honoured as Chavellier by the French Government. Under his 25 years' leadership Sree Chitra Institute was notified by Prime Minister Morarji Desai as "An institution of National Importance". He has served as the President of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and National Research Professor of the Govt. of India. He treats Ayurveda as the mother of all sciences. As a National Research Professor, he completed a series of legacy volumes on the "Great Three" of Ayurveda Charaka, Sushruta, and Vagbhata.

Dr. Valiathan began by explaining the context of ‘Ayurveda’- the eastern medical practice in ‘Biology’ – a western science. He commemorated Dr. Ram Nath Chopra’s work, who is also the father of Indian pharmacology, as he led a team of scientists and performed experiments and research to understand phytopharmacology at labs in the Indian Institute of Tropical Biology in Kolkata; his research pioneered in phytotoxicology and inspired young minds into understanding the importance of plant products and derivatives which will have potential grounds in the future pharma markets. The speaker also mentioned that during the early twentieth century, scientists had taken the initiative to study plant taxonomy and study its pharmacological cations in the body; in recent times, the industry has understood the importance of plant drug studies, and databases have been made to refer to these compounds which plants can synthesize.

Dr. Valiathan addressed that the study of phytobiology takes a lot of patience, monetary help, years of research, and dedicated researchers who will put their best foot forward into the research—stating his experience of how Dr. Chidambaram had supported his research interests and invested in the same. According to him, Ayurveda focuses on three vital aspects such as ‘Prakriti’ determination which helps to sort out the person’s make up based on Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, the use of ‘Rasaayan’ to modulate bodily functions and treat illnesses, and Panchakarma treat even conditions like obesity, diabetes, etc. The program concluded with the felicitation of the esteemed speaker by Dr. C Mallikarjuna Rao, Principal, MCOPS, and Dr. Krishnamurthy Bhat, Vice Principal, MCOPS.