Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to read the citation for Professor Rajiv Raman for the award of Honorary Doctor of Health Sciences.
Professor Raman is an internationally renowned retinal specialist and scientist, and a pioneer in using Artificial Intelligence in the detection of diabetic retinopathy.
A graduate of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Indore, India, Professor Raman took his postgraduate degree in Ophthalmology, before beginning his vitreo-retinal fellowship at Chennai’s Medical Research Foundation.
Professor Raman is an accomplished vitreo-retinal surgeon, practising for the past 18 years. In 2012, he was appointed Medical Director at the Choithram Nethralaya hospital in Indore, and since 2013, he has been Senior Consultant for Vitreo-retinal Services at Sankara Nethralaya, a not-for-profit charitable eye hospital in Chennai. He is one of the most innovative retinal specialists and researchers currently working in India.
Professor Raman has published extensively in high impact journals, and been recognised for his contribution in many areas of vision and eye research. His work on diabetic retinopathy has contributed to the understanding of the distribution and determinants of the disease in India, exploring risk factors, automated diagnosis, genetics and screening.
Professor Raman pioneered a tele-screening programme for diabetic retinopathy in the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. And his publications on the techniques and benefits of tele-screening have promoted the roll-out of technology-led remote diagnosis, with the practice now successfully implemented in many regions of India.
In Age-related Macular Degeneration, he was the first to report on the macular pigment optical density in India, and successfully identified the link between AMD and the use of smokeless tobacco products.
Professor Raman has also worked on projects to identify genetic risk and protective factors for diabetic retinopathy and AMD. In medical imaging, he described a novel parameter – foveal slope changes using optical coherence tomography – as a biomarker in establishing changes in AMD and diabetic retinopathy.
More recently, Professor Raman has been working alongside a US-based team from Google – to develop and validate a Deep Learning-based automated retinopathy referral algorithm. This has led to various research publications on Deep Learning and the application of Artificial Intelligence in collaboration with Google. This application is currently being validated in Thailand.
Our University already enjoys close links with Professor Raman. He has held a visiting professorship at VERI - our Vision and Eye Research Institute - since 2016, and has contributed to a number of joint peer-reviewed publications, as well as a number of conference presentations.
As one of the leading researchers in diabetic retinopathy – which is one of a key research areas in our Vision and Eye Research Institute – he will be instrumental in enabling ARU to expand our collaborative activities across India and worldwide. And his ground-breaking work in applying Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence in the diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy will support our Institute’s ambition to position itself at the forefront of this exciting new field.
As an outstanding researcher and pioneer, and one of Asia’s most innovative retinal specialists, Professor Raman will be an inspirational role model for our researchers and students of medicine and vision sciences.
We are delighted to welcome Professor Rajiv Raman to our ARU community.
Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present Professor Rajiv Raman for the award of Doctor of Health Sciences, honoris causa.