Dr.Vidyasagar is currently Professor Emeritus in Pediatrics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He obtained his MBBS degree from Osmania Medical College in India in 1961. He came to the U.S. in 1963 and worked as resident in Pediatrics at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital, followed by Fellowships in Neonatology at Pennsylvania Hospital, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Winnipeg Children’s Hospital, between 1966-71. He subsequently joined the faculty at Cook County Hospital, later at the College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago in 1973, where he remained as the Head of Neonatal Program until 2007.
His primary research interests have been in the area of HMD/RDS. One of his first contributions was the development of the Downes RDS score and validating its usefulness in premature infants, now used worldwide. He also helped develop an early non-invasive method of Continuous Negative Pressure (CNP) to deliver CPAP in infants with HMD/RDS. A sentinel contribution to research was his collaboration with Dr. Fujiwara, demonstrating the effectiveness of surfactant therapy in non-human primate HMD model. He and his colleagues also conducted one of the first randomized clinical trials of surfactant therapy in babies with HMD/RDS. His studies of Meconium Aspiration Syndrome greatly furthered the understanding of the molecular basis of meconium-induced lung injury.
Dr.Vidyasagar is perhaps best known for his contributions to neonatal education around the world. He initiated one of the first Neonatal Review courses more than 35 years ago, and he has long been a crusader for globalization of modern neonatal care. He has trained scores of neonatologists in many countries, including India, China, Poland, Lithuania, and Uzbekistan. He served on many committees of American Academy of Pediatrics in the promotion of International Health, and introduced the NRP program in India in 1989, the first expansion of NRP outside the U.S.
Dr.Vidyasagar is also a recipient of numerous awards: Honorary Doctors Casa from Poland, Lifetime Achievement Award of India, and the National Education Award from AAP. His achievements in research and education more than make him worthy of his nomination as a Legend of Neonatology.