Pauls Stradins Museum for history of medicine

Recipient of the 2015 Stradiņš Prize - Professor Ramaz Shengelia

The Pauls Stradiņš Prize has been awarded to Professor Ramaz Shengelia from Tbilisi, Georgia, for facilitating international contacts among medical historians and for organising the 44th International Congress of the Society of the History of Medicine in Tbilisi in 2014.  The prize will be presented to Professor Shengelia during the Stradiņš Readings ceremony on May 26, 2015.  The professor will deliver an academic address during the readings.

Professor Ramaz Shengelia was born in Tbilisi on September 2, 1952.  After being graduated with honours from high school, he entered the Tbilisi Institute of Medicine, from which he was graduated in 1975.  He also attended the Faculty of Art of Tbilisi State University, from which he was also graduated in 1975.  The young medic spent his residency at the Department of Surgery, where he specialised in general and brain surgery.  He finished his residency in 1978.  During the mid-1990s, Professor Shengelia supplemented his knowledge at San Jose State University in the United States.

Upon completing his medical studies, Dr Shengelia immediately began work as a surgeon, going to become a senior surgeon and an emergency care surgeon for Georgia’s Aviation Rescue Service (1975-1994).  The professor is an active mountain-climber and was once a member of Georgia’s mountaineering team.  In 1977, he conducted a unique operation at a height of 4,000 metres in the Pamir Mountains.  Dr Shengelia has helped to deal with the consequences of natural disasters such as flooding in Svaneti, Georgia (1984), an earthquake in Spitaka, Armenia (1988), and earthquakes in Racha, Georgia, and Iran (1990).

In 1991, Dr Shengelia became director of the Department of Medical History and Bioethics at the Tbilisi State University of Medicine, a job that he continues to hold today.  From 1995 until 2008, he was also chairman of the Department of Traditional Medicine, and from 1999 until 2004, he was deputy director of the Clinical and Experimental Medicine Research Centre.  In 2005 and 2006, Dr Shengelia served as dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the university.

Along with his work as an educator, Professor Shengelia has taken part in and directed various medicine-related projects in Great Britain, the United State and France.  In 1990, he completed high courses in the history of medicine at the Semashko Institute in Moscow.  From 1995 until now, he has been a member of the Council of Medical History at the Georgian Academy of Sciences, from 1998 until 2012 he was a member of the Council of the International Society of the History of Medicine, and since 2012, he has been its vice president.  Dr Shengelia organised the 44th International Congress of the Society of the History of Medicine in Tbilisi.  He is the president of the congress.

Since 1998, Professor Shengelia has been vice president of the Georgian Association of the History of Medicine.   He became a member of the Georgian Academy of the Medical Sciences in 2004 and a member of the Washington Academy of Sciences in 2005.  Dr Shengelia also directs the Georgian Museum of the History of Medicine that is named after its founder, Mikhail Shengelia.

Ramaz Shengelia has edited eleven medical tomes.  From 2005 until 2005, he was editor-in-chief of the Georgian Encyclopaedia of Medicine.  He has also served as academic advisor for 12 doctoral dissertations.  Dr Shengelia is on the editorial board of five scholarly journals, including Ancient Medicine in the United States.  Since 1992, he has organised six international scholarly events.  The professor has authored more than 200 papers, including 14 monographs, one collection of novellas, and a selection of short stories.  He has received six awards, including the Al-Jazar Medal from Tunisia and the Marie Curie Prize from Cambridge University in Great Britain.  Dr Shengelia is an honorary citizen of Senaki, Georgia.

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