P K Sen Memorial Lecture

PK_SenP.K. Sen was born on 7 December 1915 at Calcutta, to a middle-class family. He had 1 sister. As the only son of a civil surgeon, Profulla became interested in surgery. He studied initially at a municipal school in Jamtada, a small town in the state of Bihar. He underwent his early college education at Victoria College of Sciences, Nagpur, and later took his MBBS degree at Seth G.S. Medical College, Bombay, where he attended from 1933 to 1938. In 1940, he then took his master’s degree in surgery (with distinction) from the University of Bombay. Until his death on 22 July 1982 due to myocardial infarction, Dr. Sen held various posts at King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEM), Bombay. The department of cardiothoracic surgery at KEM was founded by him and now bears his name.
In 1954, Sen married Marie Barnes, an American from Philadelphia. She worked in a physiology laboratory, and they met while Sen himself was working in Philadelphia, at the University of Pennsylvania during 1950–1951. They had no children.
In addition to his stay in the United States, Dr. Sen traveled widely, visiting the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and other countries. Among his many awards were the Vishinskey Medal (USSR) and the Padma Bhushan, the highest award that India conferred on any scientist at that time.
He performed the full range of cardiac surgeries then available to him and was the pioneer, in India, of several procedures. Indeed Sen was the founder in India of cardiothoracic surgery as a subspecialty of surgery, for only pericardiectomy and ligation of patent ductus arteriosus had been tried before him. He was also the 1st to perform an intracardiac operation in his native country. Beginning with closed-heart surgeries (closed mitral valvotomy in 1952), P.K. Sen was soon closing atrial septal defects with the aid of hypothermia and inflow occlusion techniques (in 1957)—before doing so with the aid of extracorporeal circulation in March 1962. Once the heart-lung machine became available, other open-heart operations like open commissurotomies, valve replacements, and repairs of congenital heart defects became routine. His most significant contributions are his pioneering work on a transmyocardial acupuncture technique for the treatment of coronary artery disease, on heart transplantation in canine models and later in human beings, and on a new technique for aortic arch replacement. His colleagues included Drs. T.P. Kulkarni, G.B. Parulkar, and M.D. Kelkar. He was in frequent touch with Drs. William Bigelow, Denton Cooley, Norman Shumway, Christiaan Barnard, Donald Ross, and Sir Brian Barrett-Boyes.
An excellent teacher, Dr. Sen enlivened his lectures with poetry, philosophy, and quotations from the history of medical science. He had a charismatic influence upon his students, who included Drs. R.A. Bhalerao, Sharad Panday, Nitu Madke, S.A. Padmavati, Sudhanshu Bhattacharya, M.S. Valiathan, and Arun Chaukar. When Sen ventured beyond the subject of surgery, he did so with authority, for he was both a poet and a painter; his paintings were exhibited twice in India and once in the United States.
One of the most eminent cardiothoracic surgeons of India, Profulla Kumar Sen (1915-1982) had a keen interest in research and in the subsequent clinical application of knowledge gained in the laboratory. His most significant contributions are his pioneering work on a transmyocardial acupuncture technique for treatment of ischemic myocardium, on heart transplantation in canine models and later in human beings, and on a new technique for aortic arch replacement. Transmyocardial laser revascularization of the 1990s was but an extension of his mechanical myocardial acupuncture for the treatment of ischemic heart disease, which he introduced 30 years earlier. On 16 February 1968, after many years of preparation through work with animal models, P.K. Sen and his team performed the 1st cardiac transplantation in India and the 6th in the world.

The Indian Association of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgeons is pleased to invite applications from distinguished members for the P.K Sen Memorial Oration; scheduled to take place at IACTSCON 2020 at Ahmedabad, Gujarat State.

  • Specialty: Cardiovascular surgery
  • Eligibility: Fellow/ Life Member/ Overseas Fellow/ Overseas Life Member of IACTS for a minimum of 10 years.
  • Last date to submit application: 15 August; 23:59 HRS


Applicants are required to include the following in their application;
Covering letter with statement of intent containing prospective topic of lecture.
Curriculum vitae of applicant.

Applications must be sent via email to secretary@iacts.org or by Post/ Courier to

Indian Association of Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgeons
Secretariat: G700 Doctors’ Office,
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences
EPIP Area, Whitefield, Bengaluru – 560066
Ph: 080 2800 4426/4720(25/26)