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Columbia University (New York, NY 10027-7922)
Kavita Sivaramakrishnan (Project Director: January 2014 to December 2021)
David S. Jones (Co Project Director: September 2014 to December 2021)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$286,712 (approved)
$286,712 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2014 – 12/31/2018

Relocating Heart Disease in the Tropics: Race, Risk, and Modernization in Post-Independence India

Research culminating in the writing of a book and several articles examining the history of medical responses to heart disease in India. (36 months)

This project explores how heart disease came to be seen as a problem in India in the decades after its independence in 1947 by situating it within the politics of decolonization and the interactions between international and national experts as they shaped a new, global profession. It explores a unique paradox, of burgeoning interest in heart disease and cardiac technology in the 1940 and 1950s at a time when India's overwhelming epidemiological burden still stemmed from infectious diseases and malnutrition. Our research will reveal: (1) how and why cardiology and cardiac surgery first gained footholds at medical institutions in India; (2) how the two specialties were then taken up as an important component of India's national health agenda; (3) how international networks of medical training and exchange fostered these developments amid the complexity of Cold War politics; and (4) the consequences of this history for patients and physicians who grapple with heart disease in India.