Rustom Jal Vakil

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Rustom Jal Vakil (17 July 1911 – 20 November 1974) was a cardiologist from India who was awarded a Padma Bhushan for his contributions to medicine. He was the first Indian to win a Lasker Award.

Born in Bombay in 1911, Vakil completed his medical education in London.[1] He pioneered the use of reserpine to control hypertension. Reserpine is derived from Indian Snakeroot, Rauwolfia serpentina, known in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh as Pagal-ki-dawa (‘‘medicine for the insane’’). It was later explored as a treatment for schizophrenia.[2]

Books authored[edit]

  • Clinical Diagnosis
  • Textbook of Medicine
  • The romance of healing and other essays
  • Heart in Health and Disease

Awards received[edit]


  1. ^ "History of Medicine" (PDF). Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Mechanisms of neurotransmitter release by amphetamines : A Review" (PDF). Retrieved 13 October 2013.