Thyroid Research and Practice

: 2017  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 95--96

Brig. Santosh Kumar Mazumdar Father of nuclear medicine in India

Rashmi Aggarwal1, Pradeep Chugh1, Sanjay Kalra2,  
1 Department of Thyroid and Endocrine Research, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Endocrinology, Bharti Hospital and BRIDE, Karnal, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Rashmi Aggarwal
Department of Thyroid and Endocrine Research, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Timarpur, New Delhi - 110 054


Brig. Santosh Kumar Mazumdar is rightly called the Father of nuclear medicine in India as he pioneered the use radioactive iodine for the management of hyperthyroidism back in 1959 when he treated ten hyperthyroid patients with I 131 at Safdarjung Hospital that was before the inception of Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS). Today, INMAS is a famous tertiary care center for the management of thyroid disease and all credit goes to Brig. Santosh Kumar Mazumdar.

How to cite this article:
Aggarwal R, Chugh P, Kalra S. Brig. Santosh Kumar Mazumdar Father of nuclear medicine in India.Thyroid Res Pract 2017;14:95-96

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Aggarwal R, Chugh P, Kalra S. Brig. Santosh Kumar Mazumdar Father of nuclear medicine in India. Thyroid Res Pract [serial online] 2017 [cited 2021 Apr 11 ];14:95-96
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Full Text


Brig. Santosh Kumar Mazumdar was born on September 1, 1920. His father Dr. S. N. Mazumdar was one of the founder members of Patna Medical Association. His mother Mrs. Suraualiai Devi was a student of Annie Besant College in Banaras.

His father wanted him to become a doctor, but he wanted to pursue a degree in physics and so he did his (Hons) in physics from Patna University. He later joined MBBS to fulfill his father's dream and became a medical graduate in 1945. In the same year, he joined Army Medical Corps.

 Early Days

He went to the UK on a 2-year study leave from 1954 to 1956, during this time, he got trained in radiation medicine, and when he came back to India, he was probably the first medical graduate to specialize in this field of radiation medicine which we now know as nuclear medicine [Figure 1] and [Figure 2].{Figure 1}{Figure 2}

On his return to India in 1956, he was posted as a radiation specialist in Defence Science Laboratory, Delhi and established the radiation cell. Col R. D. Ayyar, the then Medical Superintendent of Safdarjung Hospital established the field unit of Radiation Cell at Safdarjung Hospital in 1958 [Figure 3].{Figure 3}

Dr. Brig. Santosh Kumar Mazumdar wanted to establish this new discipline of medicine which he called nuclear medicine. He was the first one in India to discover application of various radioisotopes in the field of medicine. The nuclear medicine activities started on a modest scale. These activities included radioactive iodine uptake studies in patient of hyperthyroidism and also treatment of thyrotoxicosis with radioactive I 131.

Along with Brig. C. R. Suryanarayanan who was based at Army hospital in Delhi, Brig. Santosh Kumar Mazumdar started a novel and palliative treatment for malignant pleural effusion with administration of radioactive gold. He soon realized that nuclear medicine was interdisciplinary in nature and would need integration of several other branches of medical science such as nuclear physics, radiobiology, radiopharmaceutical, and radiation safety.

 Inception of Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences

He was keen to harness the benefit of nuclear energy in the field of biomedical research. He firmly believed that nuclear medicine had a tremendous potential to augment the diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities of conventional medicine. Hence he took great initiative and was instrumental in the formation of Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) in June 1961 under DRDO. Lt Gen B. M. Rao became the first Director of INMAS and Brig. Santosh Kumar Mazumdar became officer-in-charge of Radiation Cell of INMAS. In Oct 1966, he became the director of INMAS and continued to hold this post till his retirement on August 29, 1977. In 1971, a clinical outpatient department started functioning at INMAS, and the activities were gradually withdrawn from Safdarjung Hospital.

Brig. Mazumdar was awarded the Padma Shri in the year 1964 for his outstanding contributions in the field of nuclear medicine. For two consecutive years, he also became the president of society of nuclear medicine of India. Since, at that time, there was no formal postgraduate course in the specialty of nuclear medicine, Brig. Santosh Kumar Mazumdar instituted 1-year diploma course in radiation medicine (DRM) in collaboration with Science and Medicine Faculties of Delhi University.

After his retirement from service as director of INMAS on 29 August 1977, he started private practice in South Delhi and passed away on the morning of August 6, 1984. Soon after his death, a Brig. Mazumdar Memorial Trust was formed. The trust has instituted an annual Brig. Mazumdar Memorial Oration and also honors the best outgoing student of DRM course of Delhi University.

Brig. Mazumdar was a person with outstanding professional excellence who pioneered the development of nuclear medicine in the country.

He shall always be remembered by his colleagues, friends, patients, and the entire INMAS family.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.