Professor Balram Bhargava
Secretary, Department of Health Research, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India and Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research

Professor Balram Bhargava is the Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Secretary of India’s Department of Health Research since April 2018. Prof. Bhargava is Professor of Cardiology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi and serves as the Executive Director for the Stanford India Biodesign Centre, School of International Biodesign (SiB).

Established by Prof. Bhargava, the India-Stanford Biodesign programme is an interdisciplinary fellowship programme that fosters innovation in low-cost medical devices. This programme has led to the establishment of the School of International Biodesign at AIIMS and the development of low cost medical devices leading to several startups. Some of these low cost devices are in the Indian market or have been approved by the USFDA. He has pioneered the development of indigenous low-cost coronary stents that have beneffited several thousand patients. The philosophy of the programme has been “More for less for more” with a mandate to promote Global Affordable Need Driven Healthcare Innovation (GANDHI).

Prof. Bhargava set up the c-GMP Centre for Excellence for Stem Cell Studies, at AIIMS which has initiated the treatment of patients with dilated cardiomyopathy and benefited number of no-option heart failure patients waiting on the cardiac transplant list.

Prof. Bhargava is part of the team that works on the Chest Compression Device for Sudden Cardiac Death patients funded by Wellcome (London) and provides leadership for creative disease prevention, early detection, and transport system for sick cardiac patients. The programme mission DELHI (Delhi Emergency Life Heart-attack Initiative) is being used for early diagnosis and treatment of heart attack patients by first respondent paramedics.

He co-authored various publications on the harmful cardiovascular effects of chewing tobacco and continuous blood pressure. He has led major trials in India funded by the NIH (USA) which impacted clinical practices. Prof. Bhargava also founded the Society for Less Investigative Medicine (SLIM) and is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the British Medical Journal Innovations (BMJi).

In 2014, Professor Bhargava was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government for his contributions to medicine. He is also the recipient of the SN Bose Centenary Award, the National Academy of Sciences Platinum Jubilee Award, the Tata Innovation Fellowship and Vasvik Award for Biomedical Technology Innovation, the Ranbaxy Award, and the OP Bhasin Award in the field of Health and Medical Sciences.