We are deeply saddened by the passing away of Dr Vasantha Muthuswamy, Senior Deputy Director General (Retd.), Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) yesterday. Dr Muthuswamy was Chief of Division of Basic Medical Sciences, Traditional medicine & Bioethics and Division of Reproductive Health & Nutrition apart from many other positions she held in her sterling career in ICMR. She has been a pioneer in the field of Bioethics in India. Her collaborative spirit and ability to work with and across diverse stakeholders ensured that the agenda for Bioethics burned bright in the research firmament in India.
A post graduate in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from Chennai and a graduate in Medicine and Surgery from RG Kar Medical College, Kolkata, she joined ICMR as a Talent scholar . She is recognized for bringing out the ICMR’s “Ethical guidelines for biomedical research on human subjects “ in 2000 and the revised version “Ethical guidelines for research on human participants” in 2006 . She also prepared the Guidance document for Animal experimentation, Guidelines for Stem cell research and therapy , Guidelines for Safety evaluation of food derived from GE plants and Guidelines for Good Clinical laboratory practices etc. As the Founder Secretary of Forum for Ethics Review Committees in Asia Pacific(FERCAP), she has delivered sessions as well as oration in Bioethics and GCP in several countries. She was serving as President of FERCI (Forum for Ethics Review Committees in India).
Indian Society for Clinical Research bestowed upon her the Lifetime achievement Award for her contributions to Clinical Research in 2xxx