Change agents

Change agent: A person who has initiated significant, positive change within his/her social, professional or larger circles. 
(This list does not include our alumni)

B  C  F  G L M O R  S     


Brand, Paul 
Pioneering hand surgeon who developed tendon transfer techniques that revolutionised the way leprosy patients were treated. Read more 


Chandy, Jacob 
Padmabhushan Jacob Chandy was the first neurosurgeon of India and is regarded as the father of neurosurgery in India. Dr. Chandy, who trained in various places abroad was invited by the then Director, Robert Cochrane, to join CMC Vellore. He started the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at CMC, the first of its kind in the country. Read more

Cherian, K. M. 
Padmabhushan Kotturathu Mammen Cherian, who started his career in CMC Vellore as a lecturer in surgery, performed India's first coronary artery bypass surgery and is considered a pioneer of pediatric cardiac surgery in the country. He is also a former honorary surgeon to the President of India. Read more 


Fenn, Anantha Shanti
A S Fenn who was a visionary surgeon, a popular principal and a beloved teacher, had a colourful personality and contagious joie de vivre. Dr. Fenn is also remembered for his compassion and concern for the economically disadvantaged and the marginalised. Read more 

Fillebrown, Rachel 
Rachel Fillebrown, who has born in 1986 in Massachusetts, USA, donated the entire money she received as gifts for her wedding - 10,000 dollars - to CMC, to build the first hostel for staff and student nurses in the year 1922. Sadly, she was not able to visit CMC during her lifetime to see her wedding gift that had been a tremendous blessing to hundreds of nurses. Read more

Findlay, Jessie 
Former Chief of Surgery, who served here even during the uncertain and troubled years of the Second World War, although most of the other staff from overseas went home to wait out the War. Read more

Fritschi,  (
Rev. Dr.) Ernest Paul  
Rev. Fritschi was an internationaly renowned Hand and Leprosy Reconstructive surgeon. He had worked in the Department of Orthopaedics, CMC, Vellore and in several mission hospitals associated with The Leprosy Mission in India, Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Rev. Fritschi was Director of the Schieffelin Institute of Health Research and Leprosy Centre, Karigiri, from 1956- 1959 and 1974 - 1987.

He not only provided reconstructive surgical and rehabilitative services to leprosy patients, but also initiated a number of training programmes in leprosy. He, along with his wife, late Mrs. Manorama Fritschi, were instrumental in setting up Shanthigramam, a home for the aged, destitute and deformed leprosy patients near Karigiri.

For his selfless services to people on the fringe of society, Rev. Fritschi was awarded the Damien Dutton Award in 2006 - one of the highest awards given to persons who have contributed immensely to leprosy work.


Gault, Edward 

Missionary, pathologist, surgeon, teacher, academic and researcher: Dr. Gault's (left) commitment and calling represented the best that CMC has to offer in education. Read more

Gass, Herbert 
The Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy in CMC started in 1949, under the headship of Herbert Gass. Born in India of German-American parents, Dr. Gass was passionate about leprosy and helped set up the SLRTC, Karigiri. Dr. Paul Brand, describes Gass as one who “did justice, loved mercy and walked humbly with his God”. Read the full article by Dr. Brand.  


Lazarus, Hilda  

Padmashri Hilda Lazarus, one of the foremost physicians of her time, was CMC's first Indian Principal (1947-1950) and Director (1948-1954). It was during her principalship that the institution was first granted permanent affiliation to the Madras University, and also opened its doors to male medical students for the first time.

Dr. Lazarus brought with her a vast store of administrative experience from the Indian Medical Service and sound professional knowledge. As both Principal and Director, she ably coordinated the working of a rapidly expanding institution. Dr. Lazarus reorganised the institution's finances and place them on a firm basis. She successfully supervised an extensive building programme, and evolved a system for the orderly working of various departments of the hospital.

Her professional reputation and skill made the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology a centre for expert consultation. She was a respected and effective ambassador of the institution abroad, raising funds for various projects.

Her farewell gift from the institution was a 'purse' equal to six months salary which she returned, asking that it be used by the institution. Eventually, she bequeathed much of her personal estate to CMC. 
Read more

Macpherson, Norman

Norman Stewart Macpherson (right) came to Christian Medical College, Vellore in response to Ida Scudder’s request in 1944, when the decision was made to treat male patients in the hospital, Dr. Macpherson was the first male surgeon and first faculty with the University and Medical Council of India-recognised postgraduate qualification, FRCS. Hence, he was also the first postgraduate teacher to be appointed to the department of General Surgery. Read more 

Oommen, A. C. (Rev.)
Rev. A. C. Oommen came to Vellore with a rich experience of working in Churches in India and abroad. Under the leadership of Rev. Oommen, the Religious Work Department found many new avenues of service among students and the staff.

Through retreats, work camps, teaching missions and worship services, Achen Oommen, as he was known to the community, helped the students and staff to develop a sense of belonging together as a committed 'CMC Community'.

His dynamism, conviction, and ability to communicate deep theological insights in simple language made him an outstanding leader for Bible study groups and a much admired preacher. Read more.

Pereira, Sheila Dr. Sheila joined CMC as a Paediatric Registrar in 1954. She worked with the pioneering paediatricians of CMC, Dr. M.D. Graham and Dr. J.K.G. Webb. This young registrar of Dr.Webb had no hesitation to go as a field research assistant to Virus Research Centre, Pune and the Mysore Forests to study the Japanese B Encephalitis and Kyasanur Forest disease. Her contribution to the study of these two diseases is noteworthy. She went on to acquire the MRCP in Edinburgh, and returned to CMCH in 1962. Read more

Rambo, Victor Clough

Dr. Victor C. Rambo
Victor Rambo was an American medical missionary who was the first to conduct  eye camps in the country.
Rambo was chief of CMC's Opthalmology department from 1947 to 1958 though he was famous as a sight-restoring doctor - nothing short of a miracle-worker for many of the poor villagers - even before that, during his time at the Christian Hospital, Mungeli. 
Read more.


Savarirayan, Sanjeevi
Rev. Sanjeevi Savarirayan (right), one of the first Indians to have an MBA degree, was the General Superintendent of CMC during some of its most challenging years, and carried out his duties in this role with the utmost dedication and efficiency. 

Scudder, Ida Belle 
Ida B. Scudder, niece to Ida Scudder, developed Radiology in CMC and was a pioneer of Radiotherapy, bringing its benefits to tens of thousands of cancer sufferers in southern India. Read more.

Singh, Atar Deo 
Dr Atar Deo Singh popularly known to his colleagues as AD has been a teacher, friend and mentor for many Oncologists who now practice Radiotherapy successfully in many parts of India and abroad. He was born in a small village in the Begusarai District of Bihar. After successfully completing his MBBS degree in 1953 from the Patna Medical College, he went to the UK where he studied Radiotherapy and was awarded the DMRT in 1958 and FRCR in 1960.

Refusing several lucrative job offers in England and Canada, he returned to India and joined CMC Vellore in August 1961. 
Read more.

Somerville, Theodore Howard 

Medical missionary and Renaissance Man par excellence, Somervell, the legendary surgeon who served at CMC, was awarded the Kaiser-i-Hind, the OBE and an Olympic Gold for his achievements in mountaineering. Read more