Rakesh Kumar Tandon, MD, PhD, FRCP (Edin), FAMS (1941-2020)

It is with sadness that the College notes the death of Prof. Dr. Rakesh Tandon on the morning of August 3, 2020. Dr. Tandon was a member of the American College of Gastroenterology, a fellow of AGA, and the former head of the department of Gastroenterology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India and later Medical Director & Head of Department of Gastroenterology at the Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute for Liver, Renal & Digestive Diseases in New Delhi.

He was born in Allahabad, India in 1941. According to his obituary, Dr. Tandon “carried the legacy of his grandfather Bharat Ratna Late Sh. Pusurshottam Das Tandon in the service of mankind as a caring doctor and passionate researcher.”

Dr. Tandon trained in India and the United States and was a pioneer in gastroenterology in India, recognized for his contributions to the understanding of GI and pancreatic disease.

His son, Manish Tandon, MD, a gastroenterologist in Brookline, MA reflected on his father’s life and career: “Dad has lived a very fulfilling and rewarding life, and I am most proud of him as being my father and his numerous achievements. He has always shown amazing kindness and has been very humble in his ways. Despite his dedication to his patients, and his clinical work, he has been a most caring father, husband, brother and general human being. He has an amazing passion for knowledge and learning, and gained satisfaction from teaching and mentoring number of young gastroenterologists over his career. In addition, he was an avid tennis player, enjoyed travelling, and interacting and meeting new folks all over the world!”

Dr. Peter Banks remembers Dr. Tandon: “Rakesh was an outstanding clinician, teacher, and investigator with expertise in chronic liver disease, pancreatitis, and therapeutic endoscopy. He was a kind, compassionate person, and a close friend for almost 50 years.”

Dr. Tandon served as President and Secretary General of the Indian Society of Gastroenterology and President of the Indian Pancreas Club. He received the Dr. B. C. Roy Award conferred by the Medical Council of India in 2000, and was recognized as a Master of the World Gastroenterology Organisation in 2009.

In 2016, Dr. Tandon was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 44th Convocation of AIIMS in New Delhi in 2016, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from Crohn’s Colitis Foundation in New Delhi in 2018. He published nearly 300 research papers, 87 chapters in books and 6 books including one in Hindi, Ham Swastha Kaise Rahen.

He is survived by his wife, a physician, and will be dearly missed by his family, friends, students and colleagues.