Dr Ritesh Agarwal has been awarded the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology for the year 2020 in the medical sciences category, for his significant contributions in the field of Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA).
The award is named after the founder Director of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) India, the late Dr (Sir) Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar.
The Prize is given each year for outstanding contributions in science and technology. Dr Agarwal is the first faculty member from PGIMER, Chandigarh to be honoured with this award.
Dr Agarwal has been systematically exploring this perplexing disease over the last ten years and has more than 90 publications describing the epidemiology, diagnosis, management, and several first-time descriptions.
In the last five years, he has validated several existing diagnostic and classification criteria and has proposed new criteria for the diagnosis and classification of ABPA, which are used to diagnose the disease the world over.
Dr Agarwal’s most significant work is in the treatment of ABPA. Before his research, there was no dosing protocol for oral glucocorticoids. His research has shown that lower doses of oral steroids are sufficient in the treatment of ABPA.
Moreover, two of his studies demonstrating the efficacy of anti-fungal drugs are practice-changing, as patients can now be spared of the serious adverse effects of glucocorticoids.
Dr Agarwal was born and educated in Chennai and completed his MBBS in 1998 from Stanley Medical College and joined the Residency Program in Internal Medicine at PGIMER in 1998.
Subsequently, he completed his Fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine from the same Institute in 2004.
He is currently working as a Professor in the Department of Pulmonary Medicine at the PGIMER.
His primary research area is allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and he also maintains a keen interest in interventional pulmonology and meta-analysis.
He has more than 500 publications to his credit and has written several chapters in national and international books and is also the co-author of two books (Oxygen Therapy, Textbook of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine).
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