Hometown: Chennai, India
Husband: Ajit Yadav
• Director General of ICMR
• Deputy General of WHO
• Chief Scientist of WHO
|Awards, Honours, Achievements
|• 2008: Kshanika Oration Award for the Indian Council of Medical Research in New Delhi from Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad
• 2011: Lifetime Achievement Award for the Indian Association of Applied Microbiologists
• 2012: Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Award
• 2012: She was honoured with the National Academy of Sciences, India.
• 2013: Soumya received an award from the Indian Academy of Science, Banglore
• 2016: NIPER ASTRAZENECA research award
• 2020: Soumya Swaminathan was honoured with the recognition of her advisory role in combating the Covid-19 pandemic in Tamil Nadu by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
Note: She has many more awards and accolades to her name
|Date of Birth
|May 2, 1959 (Saturday)
|Age (as of 2023)
|• Armed Forces Medical College, Pune The Economic Times
• All India Institute of Medical Science in New Delhi
• Keck School of Medicine Los Angeles, California
• University of Leicester, UK
• M.D in paediatrics
• Post-doctoral medical fellowship in neonatology and pediatric pulmonology
• Fellowship from the Department of Pediatric Respiratory Disease
|Relationships & More
|Ajit Yadav ( Orthopedic surgeon)
|Father- Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan (Indian Agriculturist, Scientist, and the global leader of the Green Revolution)
Mother-Meena Swaminathan (Indian educationist in the field of preschool education)
• Dr Madhura Swaminathan (Professor and Head of the Economic Analysis Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore)
• Nitya Swaminathan (Senior lecturer at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Soumya Swaminathan
- Saumya Swaminathan is the Chief Scientist of the World Health Organization. She is also a Pediatrician and Clinical Scientist who is known for her research in tuberculosis and HIV.
- Soumya grew up in a family and environment where education and science were the main pillars. Her family lived on the campus of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute. C.V. Raman and Vikram Sarabhai were their frequent home guest.
- Soumya’s father, Mankombu Sambasivan Swaminathan, is known as the father of the Green Revolution. He is the person behind the introduction and further development of high-yielding varieties of wheat and rice. He also started a research foundation in Chennai named M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, whose chairperson is Soumya’s sister, Dr Madhura Swaminathan. TheEconomicTimes
- Soumya in her childhood used to visit her father’s lab and experimental wheat field, and according to Soumya, that is what created a passion in her to become a medical researcher.
- According to Soumya, she knew a PhD thesis from the age of five, as during her childhood, many PhD students would come to her home to discuss work with her father.
- Soumya once said that she wanted to become a Veterinarian, as she was fond of animals, however, all her friends were preparing for the medical entrance exam, so she also started preparing for the same. The Week Magazine
- Meena Swaminathan, mother of Soumya Swaminathan is an Indian educationist in the field of preschool education, who wrote several books on the subject of drama and child development.
- After completing MBBS, Soumya went to California to pursue higher studies.
- In 1992, Soumya returned back to India and joined the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis as a coordinator and later, she became the director of the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis.
- For almost eighteen years Soumya continued the research in tuberculosis and HIV. As a researcher at the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis in Chennai, she would travel to the homes of her poor patients who were suffering from Tuberculosis. She even looked after the orphaned children of her patients. She often helped the underserved population and raised funds to get antiretroviral drugs to the families affected by the HIV epidemic. India Today
- Soumya started a TB Zero City Project in Chennai that aimed to create Islands of elimination working with the local governments, institutions, and grassroots associations for treating the TB infection. India Today
- Soumya worked for many years with Dr P R Narayanan, who was the Director of the Tuberculosis Research Centre.
- Later in 2009, Soumya became the coordinator of the UNICEF and the WHO special programme for research and training in tropical diseases in Geneva.
- After serving as the Director of the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, in 2015, she became the Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) as the second woman to lead the institution overseeing 30 research institutions.
- Soumya participated in various press briefings on the Covid 19 pandemic after being appointed as the Chief Scientist of WHO, in 2019.
- In 2021, Swaminathan was also appointed to the Pandemic Preparedness Partnership (PPP), which is an expert group, chaired by Patrick Vallance to advise the presidency held by the government of the UK.
- Soumya Swaminathan often visits various schools and colleges for educational talks.