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Dr Nagaraj Dupakuntla in the news

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  • 15:19, 12 JUNE 2015
  • IN a bid to tackle medic shortages, one practice is turning to students and offering work placements for the next generation of family GPs

    Dr Nagaraj Dupakuntla, left, and trainee doctor Darren Tan

    A medical practice aims to do something about a shortage of GPs that could become critical as family doctors retire.

    Maybole Medical Practice is now taking on medical students from Glasgow University for GP practice placement.

    And the practice – run by Drs Eileen Wilson, Jonathan Sheward and Nagaraj Dupakuntla – is also taking on young qualified doctors for their foundation year training.

    Dr Dupakuntla is the educational supervisor for the project. And he said: “We have held meetings with our patients’ group to gain their support for this.

    “We want to reassure our patients they will continue to be seen by a qualified doctor. But we have asked for their co-operation in having trainees present.”

    Dr Dupakuntla added: “I would hope that some of these young doctors might decide to return to South Ayrshire and the Carrick area at some stage in their careers.”

    Maybole Medical Practice is one of two operating from Maybole Health Centre.

    And Dr Dupakuntla explained that it has been accredited to take on students from Glasgow University, for a period of five weeks per student for their GP practice placement.

    The practice has also been accredited for Foundation Year Training – qualified doctors who used to be known as house officers in the past. These doctors would stay with the practice for a period of four months.

    Dr Dupakuntla said: “The foundation year doctors are fully qualified, with significant hospital experience, and are then allocated to our practice for a period of GP training.

    “The medical students are in their final year of training, and would always be under close supervision.

    “After a period of induction, the qualified doctors will start seeing patients independently – but under supervision from a senior doctor who will be available when required.

    “However the medical students would always continue to be supervised and would not be allowed to work independently.”


    Is this a good way of tackling GP shortages?


    Dr Dupakuntla said patients will be asked if they are comfortable with visiting doctors and students sitting in on their consultation.

    He added: The consultations are always treated confidentially. And patients’ wishes will always be respected.”

    Dr Dupakuntla pointed out: “This vital and rewarding element of our work brings many benefits to patients and staff.

    “But the work involved in tutorials and case discussions does require a significant time commitment from the established doctors in the practice.”


    Cleave Biosciences appoints Kanya Rajangam as VP, Clinical Development

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    BURLINGAME, Calif., June 23, 2015 -- Cleave Biosciences today announced Kanya Rajangam, M.D., Ph.D. has joined the company as vice president, clinical development. Dr. Rajangam will lead Cleave's ongoing clinical trials and design future studies to evaluate drug candidate CB-5083 in hematological and solid tumor malignancies, as well as advance other internally-discovered compounds into development.

    For nearly a decade, Dr. Rajangam has played a key role in the clinical development and regulatory submissions of new oncology drugs including the approval of KYPROLIS® (carfilzomib) for patients with multiple myeloma at Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Previously, at Exelixis Inc, she designed and monitored early-stage clinical trials for multiple compounds, including COMETRIQ® (cabozantinib) and cobimetinib. Most recently she was executive director of the oncology and immune-oncology program at Nektar Therapeutics. After earning her medical degree from St. John's Medical College in Bangalore, India, Dr. Rajangam completed a surgical residency at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, India. She then earned a doctorate in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University.

    "Dr. Rajangam has led teams that have been tremendously effective in orchestrating large, multifaceted clinical programs for cancer therapeutics that have become commercial successes and are extending people's lives," said Laura Shawver, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Cleave Biosciences. "She will be a terrific addition to Cleave as we advance our lead drug candidate CB-5083 beyond Phase 1 trials."

    About Cleave Biosciences
    Biopharmaceutical company Cleave Biosciences is a pioneer in the discovery and development of drugs that target protein homeostasis systems and have the potential to transform the treatment of people with difficult to treat solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. The company is privately held and located in Burlingame, California. Information regarding Cleave's clinical trials for oncology drug candidate CB-5083, including enrolling centers, is available by visiting (identifier # NCT02243917 solid tumors, or # NCT02223598 multiple myeloma.) For additional information, visit

    KYPROLIS® is a registered trademark of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    COMETRIQ® is a registgered trademark of Exelixis, Inc.

    Surgeon,Survivor,Superhero: Dr Robert Anthony

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    Survivor, Surgeon & Superhero
    Dr Antony Robert Charles (46)
    Consultant paediatric surgeon

    Born with multiple life-threatening health problems, the doctor has undergone seven major surgeries since birth. But that hasn't stopped him from 'serving mankind'
    The first thing that catches the eye once you walk past the bustling lobby of Rainbow Hospital teeming with young patients and their parents and into Dr Antony Robert Charles' quiet cabin, is the cheery Winnie the Pooh tie that the doctor is sporting. As a paediatric surgeon, who often treats children with life-threatening illnesses, the genial doctor realises the need to bring some cheer into the lives of his young wards.
    Having spent his childhood in and out of hospitals because of multiple health problems, Dr Charles can empathise with his patients at a personal level. Born in 1969, at a time when paediatric and neonatal surgery was at a nascent stage, Charles suffered from several birth defects — anorectal malfunction, reflux and spina bifida which were affecting his intestines, kidneys and lower spine. With four surgeries within seven months of being born, doctors at St Philomena Hospital didn't think he would survive.
    Today, the surgeon credits the great team of doctors led by Dr Joseph Antony at St Philomena Hospital and Sister Hedgiwa from Holland (who was working at the hospital) for pulling him through the crisis. So much so that Charles has taken his name from the doctor's last name, while his middle name comes from Sister Hedgiwa's father, Robert.
    However, his struggles in the hospital was just the tip of the iceberg. As a school student, Charles remembers how difficult it was to get admission because of his urinary and fecal incontinence problem. While he managed to get into Padmavati School in Adugodi, in class four when he had to change schools, it was traumatic. "None of the well-known schools would take me in because of my problem," he recalls. When he finally got admitted to Bethany High School in Langford Town, the ignominy of going to school with a colostomy bag and urine leaking through his uniform, took its toll. "School life was not easy with the constant smell of urine on me and some bullies making life difficult. There were days when parents would ask the principal to take me out of the school as their children were uncomfortable." His principal Mark David, who was made of sterner stuff, made sure Charles stayed. "At the same time, my parents were persistent. And my grandmother, who used the cane generously, made sure that I had 100 per cent attendance for the six years I was at Bethany."
    In fact, one of the standing jokes in school was that once they grew up and met 20 years hence, he would be recognised first because of the urine stains on his pants. At a recent reunion, the same friends asked him, "How come you were the only one to become a doctor in our batch?"
    Had it been upto Charles and his parents though, he might have been a priest today. Greatly influenced by SrHedwiga (whose grave he plans to visit in Holland this year), Charles thought that by becoming a priest he could "serve mankind". It was Dr Robert Antony, who changed his mind. "I still remember how he caught me by my collar when I went to meet him about the issue. When I told him that I wanted to serve mankind, he told me that I could do that by becoming a doctor. He asked me to take up MBBS and said, 'After five years if you still want to become a priest, I will take you (to a seminary) myself," Charles says.
    Getting through med school - St John's Medical College - was another challenge. "Until then, I had no friends. I believed that no one liked me and didn't trust anyone. At one point, I just refused to go to college. It was then that a senior intervened and told me how to adapt to the new place." Charles spent a weekend writing down his feelings, his pent-up frustration and then realised that he needed a new script for his life at college.
    With his health having improved and his confidence too, Charles went on to graduate from St John's Medical College as the Best Outgoing student, then going on to train in general surgery at the Tata Memorial Hospital before completing his paediatric surgical training at the apex institute of the country, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, (AIIMS) in New Delhi.
    While it came to choosing his specialisation - cancer surgery or pediatric surgery in 1999 - Charles realised that he wanted to help children who were facing problems like he did. "I think being a patient and having a series of problems made me more determined and focussed on getting to the other side of the scalpel and operate on children," he says, pointing out that 1 in every 3,000 children is born with such defects.
    Practicing at Columbia Asia, Hebbal, Rainbow Hospital in Doddanakundi, Baptist Hospital and CSI Hospital, Charles' story has inspired many parents. "When parents are told about a malfunction in their new born child, it's not easy for them. Many of them break down. When I share my story, they are hopeful about the child's future."
    Admitting that he still has bad days but has learnt to "manage it", Charles often gets urinary infections, continues to suffer from incontinence and has diabetes. While the colostomy bag is not required anymore, he does use a diaper sometimes. "But nobody would even know about it."
    While he is a great example of having lived through several trials, Charles is appalled at the number of abortions taking place today because of minor deformities. "With so many surgeries, I've still managed to come this far. Surely, being physically perfect is no criteria for one's contribution to society. Let us give every child that chance," is his earnest appeal.

    Announcement of the General Body Meeting of the parent Saint John's Alumni Association

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    ST.JOHN’S MEDICAL COLLEGE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION (R) BANGALORE – 560034 E-mail: sjmcaa@gmail.comWebsite: 10th July 2015.

    Dear Members,


    The Annual General Body Meeting of our Association will be held on Friday the 7 th August 2015 at 16:30hrs immediately following the H.J. Mehta Oration & refreshments @ the hall adjoining the Pope Pall auditorium on St. John’s Medical College campus, Sarjapur Road, Bangalore – 560034.

    The following is the Agenda for the Meeting:

    1. Invocation, followed by a silent prayer for the members who have passed on since our last GBM.

    2. Welcome speech by the President

    3. Reading and passing of the Minutes of the Last Annual General Body Meeting held on 9th August 2014 by the Joint Secretary.

    4. Report of the Activities of the Association by the General Secretary.

    5. Presentation and passing of the Accounts by the Treasurer

    6. To appoint the Auditors and fix their remuneration ( Tenders are invited as of this notice and have to be submitted to the President / General Secretary by midnight of 31st July, 2015)

    7. Honouring the Alumni of our association for outstanding contributions & awards/achievements in any field since our last GBM (Information on the same may please be furnished by any member to the General Secretary either on our web-site linked email or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to reach us by midnight 31.07.2015)

    8. Discussion on various issues/ subjects with prior notice/ permission of the Chair (members requested to submit their views & suggestions in writing to the above email id on or before 31st July, 2015).

    9. Vote of Thanks by the Vice-president.

    Kindly pass this information on to any member of the SJMCAA who may not have received it for any reason & do make it a point to attend the meeting. We value your inputs to help improve our Association.

    Dr.Johnson Pradeep. R General Secretary


    Live webcast Of Dr Venkat Narayan's talk

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    Dr. Venkat Narayan recently received the Kelly West Award for Outstanding Achievement in Epidemiology (the highest scientific award presented by the American Diabetes Association) in June 2015 .

    Here is the live webcast of his talk.
    Type 2 diabetes." Why we are winning the battle .......but losing the war ?"


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