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Another Feather in the Cap of PGIMER

Dr Ritesh Agarwal awarded the prestigious Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Prize for 2020
The Ist Faculty to be awarded with this distinct honor


Its a Good News in this Challenging time and one can very well imagine, how dedicated a person can be, to work continuously for the welfare of human-kind and develop pulmonary medicine science for generations to come. All thanks to Dr. Ritesh Agarwal, for this dedication.

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 & 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 from the PGIMER, Chandigarh to be honored with this award.

What is ABPA:

Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA) is an allergic or hypersensitive reaction to a fungus known as Aspergillus fumigatus. This is a fungi found in the soil. Although most of us are frequently exposed to Aspergillus, a reaction to it is rare in people with normal immune systems. However, in certain people, the immune system overreacts to the antigens of Aspergillus fumigatus found in the lungs. This may damage the airways and result in permanent lung damage. This disease affects Asthma Patients more and complicates the severity as Lung Damage. It’s common in India and thankfully there is a treatment to it when diagnosed in time.

ABPA most commonly affects people with asthma or cystic fibrosis. Many people with ABPA also suffer from allergic conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema), urticaria (hives), allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and sinusitis.

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 ABPA world over.

The most significant work of Dr. Agarwal 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 antifungal drugs are practice-changing, as patients can now be spared of the serious adverse effects of glucocorticoids.

Commending Prof. Agarwal’s distinct accomplishment, Prof Jagat Ram, Director PGIMER stated, ” It is a matter of great pride not only for the institute but also for the region. This rare honor won by Prof. Agarwal is hugely motivational and exemplary for others to follow his footsteps.”

Dr Agarwal has more than 500 publications in peer-reviewed National and International Journals. He has also received the ICMR Kamal Satbir Award for the year 2009, and the NASI-Scopus young scientist award for the year 2011, and the ICMR Shakuntala Amir Chand Award for the year 2012, for his dedicated work in the field of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.

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