A Malaysian professor, Vincent J. Gnanapragasam has been appointed professor of urology at the University of Cambridge, the first in this specialised field in the institution’s 812 years of history.
Hailing from Petaling Jaya, the urologist specialises in prostate cancer where he undertakes clinical, translational and basic science research and was also listed as one of the first trainees to be funded through a Cancer Research UK PhD for clinicians.
According to Anglia Ruskin University, he established his own research group at the University of Newcastle in 2004, with the help of the first CRUK Clinician Scientist Fellowship awarded to a surgeon. According to university records, Gnanapragasam is the first professor of urology to be appointed by the English-speaking world’s second-oldest institution.
“To date, there has never been a Professor of Urology at the university before, therefore I believe I am the first,” said Prof Vincent, who has been working at the university for the last 13 years as a professor.
Despite his hectic schedule, he also serves as an honorary consultant urologist at the university’s hospital. His journey in this field was officially kickstarted in 1988, when he enrolled in medical school in Newcastle and earned a PhD.
Prior to that, he completed primary school at SK La Salle in Petaling Jaya before moving to Singapore for high school. Among his accomplishments in the field was he invented a gadget that could conduct prostate biopsies more safely for patients with probable prostate cancer.
The CamProbe device has a decreased risk of infection and is used in a Transperineal procedure under local anesthesia (the area under the testicles).
The invention is revolutionary since a biopsy needle must penetrate through the intestinal wall to reach the prostate in today’s prostate diagnostic. Bacterial infection from the intestine might enter the urinary system and circulation as a result of this.