Dr. Nihal Thomas
MD., MNAMS, DNB(Endo), FRACP(Endo), FRCP(Edin), FRCP(Glasg) , FRCP (London), FACP, Ph.D (Copenhagen)
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism,
Christian Medical College, Vellore- 632004, Tamilnadu.
Prof Dr. Nihal Thomas is Senior Professor in Endocrinology and Former Head of Unit-1 at the department of Endocrinology at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India, former Vice Principal for Research, former Deputy medical superintendent and formerly Associate Director, at the Christian Medical College, Vellore. He has more than 320 indexed publications including several areas of endocrinology and diabetes and two books, one in its 8th Edition (Practical Guide to Diabetes) and the other in its 2nd Edition (Atlas in Endocrinology and Diabetes); He is a reviewer in several international journals and formerly on the editorial board of the journal: Clinical Endocrinology. He has an i-10 index of 125 with more than 25,000 citations on Google Scholar.
He has initiated a World Diabetes Foundation project to train 130 hospitals in rural India and subsequently from Project HOPE, which has resulted in a sustainable training programme for doctors and educators and diabetes, inclusive of a distance education programme. This has been extended and has covered health care personnel from developing areas across Asia and Africa, and has several modules along with the distance education team in traing individuals in diabetes skills. It is a major progenitor for the diabetes nurse educator system in India.
He has supported the initiation of the endocrine next generation sequencing genetic laboratory, developed the institutional videoconferencing unit at CMC, Vellore in addition to the starting the first comprehensive diabetes educator program in India and an integrated Foot clinic and Young diabetes clinics at CMC Vellore. He is a co-co-principal investigator on the 50-year-old Vellore birth cohort. His department has the capacity to conduct hyperinsulinemic euglycaemic clamp studies, indirect caloriemetry and NMR Spectroscopy and has done state of the art work in the area of low birth and the metabolic syndrome and malnutrition modulated diabetes mellitus.
He has received grants to support research and outreach programmes from international and national agencies up to 700 million rupees (US$8.6 million), and is the recipient of the Yedanapalli research award for the year 2009, the INCLEN young investigator of the year award 2004, the Tamil Nadu Medical Council Award for the year-2022.
He has given several orations (20) and talks, a talk at the US Congress (Capitol), the American Diabetes Association, the MS Ahuja Oration, the Subash Mukherjee oration and the Henry Rajaratnam Oration (at Sri Lanka and South Asian Federation of Endocrinology). In addition, he has given talks at meetings in over 30 countries over the world. He is guide for PhD under the MGR medical university, PhD guide under the Regional Biotechnology Institute, Phd co-guide in Karolinska, Sweden, inspector for the national board and examiner for the higher specialty examinations (DM and DNB) in endocrinology. He is a grant reviewer for the Indian Council of Medical Research, the ENDAC committee of the Drug Controller General of India, Department of Biotechnology and the Department of Science and Technology, and was formerly on the Board of studies for research for the Dr MGR Medical University.
He has run more than 65 multinational and in-house designed clinical trials in Diabetes Mellitus. He was the organizing secretary of the Endocrine society of India Conference in Vellore in 2010 and the Winter symposium in 2007 and was a member of the Executive committee of the Endocrine Society of India. He has had research networks with several overseas universities which included Oxford, Copenhagen, Albert Einstein (New York), Monash, Melbourne and Karolinska Universities. He is an Encore Faculty member at the Melbourne University and a Phd Co-supervisor at the same university. During his tenure as vice-principal research, he has enhanced the scope and the functioning of the institutional review board, got CMC, Vellore recognised as a centre for excellence under the Clinical Development Services Agency (CDSA), attempted to develop the processes of patenting and major the Annual research day in CMC, Vellore a major event. He was Associate Director for Campus development at CMCH, Vellore and was involved in the active development of the CMC, Vellore Chittoor campus, an initiative to develop a 650-acre zone in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh into a Broad specialty hospital with an impetus of evolving new dimensions in terms of educational aspects that CMC, Vellore has yet to venture into. Within a period of three years a college of nursing has been initiated, the hospital infrastructure expanded and housing, radiology suite and hostels were created.
His was cofounder of the endocrinology department, when it separated from the department of medicine in 1994, and was instrumental in contributing significantly to its growth. He has handled a significant clinical burden during that period of time and has established a state-of-the-art unit which handles large volumes of clinical work: about 90,000 patients per year, several subspecialty clinics: endocrine, integrated diabetes, young onset diabetes, pituitary, thyroid in addition to those started by his colleagues (menopause, metabolic bone disease). He has played a significant role in the financial management of the department and handles the administration and governance of 60 staff within the department.
His team and the department were awarded the prestigious: British Medical Journal South Asia Diabetology Team of the Year for 2015. His leadership was also instrumental in his team at the department of Endocrinology at CMC, Vellore being awarded in 2017 The Excellence in Patient care awards for the Royal College of Physicians- for outstanding work in advancing medical education and training, and the World India Diabetes Foundation Award for the year-2018.