An Indian-origin plastic surgeon has been named an ‘Outstanding Young Person of the World 2020’. According to sources, Dr Jajini Varghese, a UK-based Indian-origin plastic surgeon, has been named an ‘Outstanding Young Person of the World 2020’ by a non-profit NGO for her “incredible” scientific contributions to diagnosing and treating breast cancer.
The 39-year-old Consultant in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery at Royal Free Hospital and University College London is one of 10 nominations from the UK for the international award. The award honours outstanding people under-40-years every year from 110 countries for extraordinary accomplishments in various fields.
Varghese has been recognised in the “Medical Innovation” category for making it her personal mission to attempt to restore the lives of millions of women affected by breast cancer. The award will be presented to her at the Junior Chamber International World Congress ceremony in Japan, in November.
“Cancer will not defeat. We aim to restore people and lives. I can only search for the answers and heal the external scars. But ultimately, only God can heal the mutilations caused by breast cancer,” said Varghese.
She said, “I am only an ordinary individual with an extraordinary urge to succeed and to alleviate suffering. I count excellence as the eventual result of a continual striving to do better. I count myself fortunate to be healthy, to love what I do and to be able to help others.”
A Keralaite from Haripad
Based in London with her husband and two children, the young surgeon traces her roots to Muttom, Haripad in Kerala. Her parents George and Jolly Varghese live in Kerala.
In the UK, she is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Plastic Surgery (FRCS) and a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS). She is also on the Board of Examiners for the MSc in Plastic Surgery at University College London (UCL). After graduating with a first class in medicine from India, Varghese became one of the few doctors to be awarded the Cambridge Commonwealth Full Scholarship to the University of Cambridge to complete her MPhil and PhD on the “Genetics of Breast Cancer.
Thereafter, her research has been to identify susceptible women with high breast density and to find out their genes associated with breast cancer. This led to the discovery of the ZNF 365 gene, associated with breast cancer, in collaboration with Harvard University and the Mayo Clinic, which was published in several academic journals including Nature Genetics’.