Indian researcher receives Australian Leadership Award to study in Australia

At 34, Praveen has already achieved many things in his medical career - leading community based trials in chronic disease, working in the field of HIV/AIDS and STI for a Gates Foundation project and currently working on a new project to help address type 2 diabetes in women in India - but according to Praveen, by far his biggest achievement will come to fruition in early 2012.

“I am so happy to have received a prestigious Australian Leadership Awards through the Australian Government to pursue my doctoral training in Sydney from March 2012.”

The Australian Leadership Awards recognise high-achievers in developing countries and aim to nurture and arm qualified returning scholars to contribute to the development of India.

Praveen will temporarily leave his young family in India, to pursue a unique opportunity to complete his PhD at Sydney University, while continuing his career path at The George Institute.

“I am very exited about this opportunity and looking forward to extend my learning and work with my Australian colleagues. The award will not only help develop my leadership capacity and networks, but essentially allow me to play a significant role in combating chronic disease and injury in India.”

After completing his Bachelors in Medicine at MKCG Medical College in Orissa, India, Praveen conducted his post-graduate studies in community medicine in Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

“Similar to all medicos in their budding stage, I was also interested in clinical care but being a part of the relief team to the flood affected area in Orissa changed my thoughts. Three months of rural posting further strengthened my aim of making quality care accessible and affordable to the under privileged. I realized stethoscope and drugs are not a solution to all health problems. Basic problems are to be first identified in order to improve health systems.”

At The George Institute India, Praveen takes a leading role in the development and smooth conduct of research programs in India, in congruence with world practice. “My current research focus is in developing support mechanisms to be used by non physician healthcare workers to prevent cardiovascular diseases in rural population in India. In the longer run, I would like to develop evidence based approaches to improve general health of the population in difficult to access regions.”