Manipal Academy of Higher Education Appoints Dr. Cherian Varghese as Professor and Director of Prasanna School of Public Health (PSPH)

Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Cherian Varghese as the new Professor and Director of Prasanna School of Public Health (PSPH), effective July 4, 2024.

Dr. Cherian Varghese, Professor and Director, Prasanna School of Public Health

Dr. Varghese brings over two decades of distinguished service from the World Health Organization (WHO), where he last served as Coordinator for Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD) & determinants, and Acting Director of Healthier Populations and Noncommunicable Diseases (HPN) at the WHO South-East Asia Regional Office in New Delhi, India. During his tenure, he initiated the cardiovascular disease control program SEAHEARTS and established SEACANGRID to improve cancer control in the region.

Dr. Varghese completed his MBBS from the University of Kerala in 1985. He then earned a Diploma in Medical Radiotherapy (DMRT) and an MD in Radiation Oncology from Christian Medical College, Vellore. He holds an M.Phil. in Epidemiology from the University of Cambridge, UK, and a Ph.D. in Medicine (Epidemiology) from the University of Tampere, Finland. In 2001, he was awarded the Membership of the National Academy of Medical Sciences in Clinical Epidemiology (MNAMS), India.

Dr. Varghese began his career at the Regional Cancer Centre in Trivandrum in 1990, where he established the cancer epidemiology and clinical research unit. He initiated the population-based cancer registry in Trivandrum, identified the prevalence of HPV infection in the population, and demonstrated successful cancer screening and early detection programs.

In 2001, Dr. Varghese joined WHO and served in various positions across WHO offices in New Delhi, the Philippines, Fiji, and Geneva. As the Coordinator for the Management of NCDs at WHO headquarters in Geneva, he led efforts in integrated NCD management, developed multisectoral plans, and spearheaded initiatives such as the cervical cancer elimination initiative. He played a crucial role in developing the WHO HEARTS package, updating the WHO PEN for primary care, and introducing global initiatives for diabetes and childhood cancer.

Lt. Gen. (Dr.) M. D. Venkatesh, Vice Chancellor VSM (Retd) of MAHE, expressed his enthusiasm about the appointment, stating, “We are pleased to welcome Dr. Cherian Varghese to MAHE. His extensive experience and outstanding contributions to public health will significantly enhance the academic and research environment at Prasanna School of Public Health. His visionary leadership and profound expertise in noncommunicable diseases will be invaluable as we strive to advance public health education and research at MAHE. We look forward to the positive impact he will bring to our institution, fostering innovative solutions and driving our mission to improve health outcomes on a global scale.”

With over 90 publications and numerous prestigious fellowships and awards, including the IARC (WHO) Fellowship in 1992, the Norman Campbell Excellence Award in Population Hypertension Prevention and Control in 2019, and the WHO Regional Director’s Award for Excellence in 2023, Dr. Vargheses contributions to public health are widely recognized.