The high point: Dr Panangipalli Venugopal, 64, a renowned cardio-thoracic surgeon was appointed the Director of AIIMS on July 1, 2003.
The expertise: Dr Venugopal has to his credit India’s first heart transplant, performed in August 3, 1994. Since then, he has been associated with over 50,000 open heart surgeries. He was decorated with the Padma Bhushan award in 1998 for his achievements.
The beginning: Dr Venugopal joined AIIMS as an undergraduate in 1959, joined as a faculty in 1970 and has remained with AIIMS since then.
The achievement: One of Dr Venugopal’s achievement is research in path-breaking "stem cell" therapy. The stem cells extracted from a patient’s bone marrow can be used 50 years after a person is born to treat ailments that may develop due to genetic predispositions.