(Partly excerpted from "Leading Intellectuals of the World", published by the American Biographical Institute, 2003)
Professor Dhanjoo Ghista is a world authority in biomedical engineering and physics, author or editor of several textbooks in subjects ranging from cardiovascular physics to economic democracy, and inventor of life-saving implant devices. A pioneer of research into the effect of space travel on human physiology, he has now been promoting a new stem-based model of medicine for precision medicine and surgery, and the role of universities in contributing to building smart cities and sustainable community development.
Dr. Ghista has published over 500+ works in the fields of engineering science, biomedical engineering, physiology and medicine, and political science. He has also published 30 books in biomedical engineering, engineering physiology, cardiovascular physics, orthopedic mechanics, medical and life physics, spinal injury biomedical engineering, socio-economic democracy and world government. He is a pioneer in the fields of biomedical engineering, hospital and healthcare management, political governance and economic development, urban-rural sustainable community development, sports science and engineering. He is committed to promoting global citizenship and the advancement of developing countries.
Professional Academic & Administrative Career
In his professional career at Universities, Prof Ghista has set up educational programs, departments and colleges.
After getting his PhD at Stanford University in 1964, Dr. Ghista started his professional career at NASA (Ames Research Center), where he developed a pioneering Biomedical Engineering research program in Aerospace Medicine and Cardiology with the Stanford Medical School; this work resulted in his first joint-authored book on Cardiac Mechanics (Wiley).
At Washington University (1969-71), in their pioneering Biomedical Engineering Program between their College of Engineering and the School of Medicine, with joint faculty appointments in both Engineering and Medicine, Dr. Ghista taught among the earliest courses in Biomedical Engineering and carried out ground-breaking research at the Medical Center Hospitals: Barnes-Jewish and Children’s hospitals. He initiated work on analysis of heart valves and design of prosthetic heart valves, which finally led to his patented Reul-Ghista mitral-aortic prosthetic heart valves.
At Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (1971-75), Dr. Ghista developed the first Biomedical Engineering Department in India, as Founding Professor and Head. Therein, he set up extensive collaborative research programs with the Madras University Medical College and their Teaching Hospitals. In collaboration with the Neurology Institute, he developed pioneering research in Stereotactic surgery and Non-volitional EEG-Feedback Neuro-therapy. He guided doctoral students and post-doctoral research fellows; his students went on to become professors, department heads and deans at universities in India, Canada and Australia.
From 1975-78, Dr. Ghista was Senior Research scientist at NASA (Ames Research Center) and Stanford VA Hospital (Spinal Cord Injury Center). During this period, he developed new inroads in (i) Cardiac Pumping Efficiency Assessment Indices, (ii) Cardiovascular Regulatory response to Orthostatic stress due to long-term recumbencysimulating weightlessness, and (iii) Biomechanical assessment and Rehabilitation guidelines for Neurogenic bladders of Spinal cord injury patients, Detrusor-sphincter Dyssynergia and Transurethral Sphincterotomy in Spinal cord injury patients. Primarily, he set up the groundwork for Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Engineering.
In 1978, Dr. Ghista was appointed at Michigan Technological University, as Professor of Biomechanics and Engineering Mechanics. There he developed the Biomedical Engineering degree program courses, taught courses in Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and developed research projects, and guided postgraduate students in their research and theses. He was on the editorial board of Biomedical Engineering journals, and was busy preparing textbooks on Cardiovascular Physics, Orthopedic Biomechanics, and Human Body Dynamics.
Then, at McMaster University (Canada), from 1981-87, Dr. Ghista was (i) Professor of Medicine, Engineering Physics & Mechanical Engineering, (ii) Chair of Biomedical Engineering program and Head of Hospital Department of Biomedical Engineering. His research work on Spinal rehabilitation of scoliosis and spinal fracture fixation received international recognition. In 1982, he organized the NATO Advanced Study Institute in Spinal Cord Injury, which led to his publishing a leading book on Spinal Cord Injury Biomedical Engineering. He had extensive research funding from NRC, NSERC and Ontario Heart Foundation. He was also reviewer of research grant proposals for various councils and foundations, editor of Karger series in Cardiovascular Physics, and editor of Automedica and Rennaisance Universal journals. He also prepared the Blueprint of Hamilton Urban Redevelopment for the Canadian Legislative Assembly. Thereafter, he set up the ComptreeCorporation for Medical Devices & Industry Development in Hamilton (Ontario).
At United Arab Emirates University (1989-95), Dr. Ghista was intimately involved with the development of the UAE University’s College of Medicine & Health Sciences, as Founding Professor & Chair of Biophysics. He set up and administered the Biophysics department, and was instrumental in developing a novel problem-based medical curriculum incorporating medical physics and engineering in the organ systems modules. Among his many contributions to the region was his setting up the Al Khaleej Institute for sustainable development of Middle East countries.
From 1995 to 2000 at Osmania University (India), Dr. Ghista was Senior Professor and Head of Biomedical Engineering Department. As a member of the University Planning Committee, among his noteworthy contributions were planning of: (i) the Osmania University Industrial Park, (ii) Ph.D program in Community-development Engineering (for converting urban-slums and underserved rural communities into sustainable urban-rural communities), (iii) PG program in Entrepreneurial Engineering and Small-Business Development, between the College of Engineering and College of Commerce and Business Management, and (iv) Osmania University Industrial Development and Incubation Center, to incubate new companies and develop indigenous industries.
At Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2000-2006), Dr. Ghista was Senior Professor (Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, and Chemical & Biomedical Engineering), and member of the University Remaking Committee. He planned the setting up of their Biomedical Engineering program with Singapore General Hospital, and was a member of A*STAR Grants Review Board for evaluating grant proposals of Singapore universities. His stellar research was on biomedical engineering of (i) physiological systems leading to novel diagnostic procedures, (ii) orthopedic and spinal fixation systems, and (ii) pre-surgical analysis of surgical procedures to enhance outcomes. In 1964, he published his stellar book: Socio-economic Democracy and The World Government: CollectiveCapitalism, Depovertization, Human Rights, Template for Sustainable Peace; this book is verily the need of the hour, in order to address the ongoing governance, economic and financial crisis. Among his noteworthy contributions to education and disciplines development were developing the fields and programs of Hospital Management, Sports Science and Engineering, Sustainable Community Development, Dental Engineering (engineering design of dental prostheses &orthoses, and guidelines for dental surgical procedures), and Engineering &Technopreneurship (involving semesters 1 & 2 of courses in engineering specialty and small-business development, semesters 3 & 4 for technology development and business plan for the new company).
In 2007, Dr. Ghista was appointed as Founding CAO (Provost) of the new Parkway College of Health Sciences (Singapore). There, he set up and administered programs in Nursing, Allied Health Sciences and Hospital Administration with the three Parkway Hospitals in the city. In research, he further extended his novel original concept and work on Non-dimensional Physiological Indices towards more reliable diagnosis. All of his biomedical engineering R & D gave rise to (what can be termed as) the STEM Model of Medicine towards translational technological medicine. During this period, he also developed the blueprint of Bhutan University of Science and Technology, on behalf of Singapore Government. In 2008, he published his popular textbook on Applied Biomechanical Engineering Mechanics (CRC Press). At this time, he also started publishing papers to promote his concept of the role of the university in community and society.
From May 2009 to March 2011, Prof Ghista was consultant at Framingham State University in setting up Graduate programs: Healthcare & Hospital Administration, Sustainable Development & Policy, Professional Science Master’s degree program. The financial crisis was peaking, and this led him to propound his concept of Governance and Economy, on how a rigorous systems- engineering and operations-research formulation of city and state governance can lead to community infrastructure, industrial, equity healthcare development, towards jobs creation and economic development. This work has considerable bearing on providing the solution measures for addressing the concerns of the Occupy Financial Districts movements. In keeping with his long-time commitment to the advancement of Developing countries, he launched the Higher Education 2020 initiative in India. Under this banner, he has been actively involved in planning doctoral universities engaged in (i) providing enlightened education, and (ii) promoting community development and social welfare.
In July 2011, Dr Ghista was approached to plan and prepare the blueprint of Ozarks Rural University. He was involved with Willow Springs Idea-Exchange Community Group for the Howell County (Willow Springs and West Plains) region of Missouri, in discussions concerning the need and development of a comprehensive educational institution for the people of these communities. For the South Central Missouri region, he prepared the blueprint for Ozarks Rural University, for industrial and community development, to provide needs-based bachelor’s and graduate degree programs to the associate degree graduates from the region’s townships. This has received tremendous support, as it will help to make these communities to become sustainable, enable the students to pursue higher education without having to leave their hometowns, and benefit all the community population sectors: farming, manufacturing, healthcare, schools, infrastructure development, professionals, small businesses, banking and finance.
Thereafter in 2012, Professor Ghista established the University 2020 Foundation, to constitute a University and College Planning and Development Foundation, and provide Advisory Services to universities and colleges to enable them to become academically comprehensive and community benefitting institutions. The Charter of the University 2020 Foundation is to promote the engaging role of the university in community and society.
Educational, Teaching and Research Endeavors:
The Nanyang Technological University
Prof Ghista's educational, teaching and research endeavors have long embraced: (i) Biomedical engineering-science (bioengineering analyses of physiological and biological systems involving the development of non dimensional indices to characterize system function and dysfunction; cardiac, pulmonary, renal and diabetic engineering; intrinsically optimum anatomical structures and physiological systems; fitness and sports sciences; behavioral and rehabilitation engineering; cognitive science and engineering, simulation and customized guidelines in cardiac, orthopedic, and urological surgery), (ii) Healthcare Engineering and Management or HCEM (cost-effective management of hospitals, healthcare policy and planning, design of community healthcare delivery systems).
Dr. Ghista has also been involved in the curriculum design of modern (organs-system based) medical education, involving physical sciences in physiology and medicine, and the integration of physical/biomedical/clinical sciences in the teaching of organ systems. He has been the prime mover behind advanced medical and surgical engineering technologies, for the design-development of which he has received extensive extramural funding. He has been a proponent of BME as a health care profession through its involvement in tertiary medical care as well as of HCEM in health care delivery system planning, performance and budgeting. To this end, he has been publishing BMEP book series for courses adroitly designed to prepare students to work in health professional capacities.
He has developed a more comprehensive and rigorous format of Translational Medicine, incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Now he is promoting the setting up of an integrated Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Hospital Administration and Translational Medicine jointly between the Colleges of Engineering, College of Business and College of Medicine, to offer degrees in biomedical engineering and hospital management as well as MD-PhD (biomedical engineering), MD-MBA(hospital management), and MD-PhD (translational medicine).
Also noteworthy are his innovative works in: (i) Social Sciences (entailing a new socio-economic democracy system of civilian governance, development of functionally-sustainable communities, and economically self-reliant regional blocs), (ii) Education (neo-humanistic education, integrated physical-biological-engineering-mathematical science (PBEMS) studies and curriculum development, and combined Arts and Science program), (iii) State Governance and Management, for those intending a career in public administration), and (iv) Consciousness and Cosmology (integrated theory of matter, mind and consciousness; formation of universes and origin of life).
Concerning the Role of University in Society, Professor Ghista is an advocate of universities to also facilitate industrial and community development of its surrounding region. In this regard, he recommends setting up of university-industries consortium, to support R & D of advanced technologies and for their commercialization by incubating new companies. He has developed strategies and policies for the cultivation of indigenous industries.
Now recently, Professor Ghista has conceived of the concept of rural university for rural development, to enable rural population to have fulfilling living by having all the benefits of urban living in higher education, professional work and healthcare. This rural university will also help to bring back the manufacturing corporations to the country and enable them to be located in rural communities, where the cost of living and salaries can make them to be more competitive. This will in turn promote the rural economy and thereby also rejuvenate the national economy.
Professional and Institutional Developments
A founding figure of Biomedical Engineering (BME), Prof. Ghista has designed and directed biomedical engineering and physics (BMEP) educational programs and curricula at a number of universities. He taught many of the earliest BME courses during the late 1960s at Washington University.
He has set up academic programs and departments at universities in US, India, Canada, United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
He has been involved in:
setting up the Biomedical Engineering Program and Division at Indian Institute of Technology Madras, 1971
the establishment and development of the College of Medicine and Health sciences of the United Arab Emirates University, 1999-2005.
the remaking of the Nanyang Technological University (in Singapore), 2003-4.
setting up Parkway College of Health Sciences, aimed at transforming it into a leading Health sciences university, 2007-9.
preparing the blueprint of Bhutan University of Science and Technology, for Singapore Corporation Enterprise, 2008.
In Canada, he developed an infrastructure for indigenous BME industrial development, and has pioneered the infusion of BMEP courses into the medical education curriculum. He has also developed a novel Healthcare Engineering & Management Program to educate and train healthcare systems administrators.
He has been a reviewer of research grant proposals for the National Engineering and Science Research Council of Canada, the Medical Research Council of Canada, the National Science Foundation, the Ontario Heart Foundation, the Arthritis Society of Canada, the International Spinal Trust, and the Singapore Agency for Science and Engineering Research.
From 1981 to 1988, he was the founding editor of the Renaissance Universal Journal (a journal dedicated to the ideals of neo-humanistic society). From 1995 to 2002, he was the editor-in-chief of Automedica journal (of biomedical engineering & physics, medical informatics & technology).
Sustainable Communities, Governance and Economy:
Cognizant of the under-developed rural regions, urban-to-rural population migration, and urban slums in developing countries, Dr. Ghista has brought to bear this approach to formulate the means of developing economic sustainability within rural communities through progressive development and marketing of community resources. His community development project has its biggest impact in the design of functionally-sustainable communities and self-reliant regional political-economic blocs (such as the European Union) under a (proposed) World Parliament, thereby providing a neohumanistic globalization order.
His most noteworthy contribution in Social Sciences has been the formulation of a neo socio-economic democracy system (without involvement of political parties), in which the most competent persons in the various functional sectors of the community (such as healthcare, education, law, industry, agriculture, etc) are elected by their respective sectors to the Legislature. In this system, the most publicly beneficial models of all the societal sectors get to be developed and implemented within the governance framework. This neo-democratic civilian governance system would be implemented at the grass-roots level in functionally-sustainable communities. The economic system associated with this socio-economic (civilian) democratic system would be based on cooperative or collective capitalism, involving cooperatively organized community functional sectors and cooperatively managed businesses.
Now, a major publisher has approved his proposal to launch a new journal on Governance and Economy under his editorship. This journal is designed to elicit worldwide participation and initiate a national and global movement towards more knowledgeable governance and economic stability. Thus his Socio-Economic Democracy and World Government bookand this Governance and Economy journalcan form the basis of a new graduate program on Governance and Economy. The theme of this program would be on how governance policies can help to provide economic stability and sustainability.
Cardiology Science and Technology (2015, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis) addresses the teaching, research, and clinical needs of biomedical engineering in cardiovascular medicine. Section 1 contains chapters on Left Ventricular (LV) Wall Stress, LV Contractility, Cardiomyopathy induced LV Remodeling and its Surgical Ventricular Restoration, LV pressure development in Isovolumic Contraction phase due to Active stress generation in the Myocardial Fibers, ECG Theory and Vector Cardiogram. Section 2 contains chapters on ECG and Heart Rate Variability Signal Processing to detect Cardiac Arrhythmias; Intra-LV Flow and Pressure Distributions to determine Candidacy for Coronary Bypass Surgery; Cardiac Perfusion Analysis and Quantification by Nuclear Cardiac Imaging and Computation of Intra-Myocardial Blood Flow, Arterial Pulse Wave Propagation Velocity and Arterial Properties ; Blood Flow in Patient-Specific Coronary Arteries; Intra-LV Flow Distributions based on Colour Doppler Echo Velocity Flow Mapping, Coronary Blood Flow Analysis, and Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Flow and Design. This book may also be designated as Computational Cardiology, and hence belongs to the field of what can be termed as Computational Medicine.
Biomedical Science, Engineering and Technology (2012, InTech) cohesively integrates biomedical science (disease pathways, models and treatment mechanisms), biomaterials and implants, biomedical engineering, biotechnology, physiological engineering, and hospital management science and technology.
Applied Biomedical Engineering Mechanics (2009, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis) is a textbook for biomedical and physiological engineering courses. It uses a problem-based approach to quantify physiological processes, formulate diagnostic and interventional procedures, develop orthopaedic surgical procedures, analyse fitness and sports games to maximize competency. It provides the basis for the institution of biomedical engineering departments in hospitals, and thereby setting up new norms in tertiary healthcare. This can initiate a world-wide movement of involvement of biomedical engineering in tertiary patient-care.
Socio-Economic Democracy and World Government (2004, World Scientific) the book of the hour, in providing the solutions to the governance and economy crisis, in the form of knowledgeable political-economic governance and design of sustainable communities for grass-roots economic development. While it was published in 2004, it addresses the currently highlighted issues of governance and economy.
Human Society, Globalization and Template for Sustainable Peace
Professor Ghista has an innate pulse of the problems confronting human society. In these troubled times, Professor Ghista's neo-concept of functionally-sustainable economic-democratic communities (based on cooperative capitalism) can be seen to provide a reformation of our present day corporations-centered economic-political system in the form of a road-map to collective (or cooperative) capitalism and civilian democracy.
In this regard, Professor Ghista's book on Socio-Economic Democracy and World Government System, addresses this entire global socio-economic-political reorganization and the neohumanistic global order. This book provides a new people-centered socio-economic-political-governance system within functionally sustainable communities, a new globalization order of self-reliant regional unions under the aegis of a World Parliament, and its constitutional charter of human rights and people's economic empowerment.
According to Professor Ghista, the phenomenon of Globalization can be utilized for the benefit of developing countries to provide more uniform living standards across the world, by (i) implementing socio-economic democracy and collective capitalism in functionally-sustainable and autonomously-governed communities, and (ii) establishing self-reliant regional economic blocs to serve as both stimulators of regional economy and dissipaters of regionally-triggered economic-downturn shock waves.
Finally, the establishment of World Parliament, as advocated by Professor Ghista, will ensure socio-political-economic stability and security throughout the world. It will obviate the need for armaments build-up, and divert more funds for community services. In particular, the formation of the World Government will prevent persecution of ethnic groups and cultural minorities, because of the global human-rights protection laws of the World Government Constitution. Indeed, Professor Ghista's neo-formulation of the global socio-economic-political order will enable the setting up of a global neohumanistic society.
Role of University in Society:
In order to promote the role of university in society, Prof. Ghista established the University 2020 Foundation.
The University 2020 Foundation constitutes a University and College Planning and Development Foundation, and provides Consultancy Services to universities, colleges and other Higher Educational Institutions.
The role of University 2020 Foundation is to:
• develop the overarching Role of the University in Society and Community;
• promote the Importance of Graduate and Comprehensive Universities, providing a solid liberal arts and science education base, along with graduate and professional programs related to community needs;
• help develop Community Engaged Universities, based on our concept that the university and its community ought to be partners in progress;
• promote Rural Sustainable Development through rural universities and colleges;
• inspire universities to contribute to industrial, healthcare, infrastructural and economic development of its communities.
The Charter of University 2020 Foundation is to promote thematic university frameworks, that will enable universities to:
• provide inspirational education to the students, and help to graduate them into noble and caring, knowledgeable and concerned adults;
• provide fulfilling work avenues for the faculty and staff, and inspire them to contribute dedicatedly to the university mission;
• enhance their educational and research portfolios, to enable them to address the problems and issues of their communities;
• have partnerships with corporations for technological industrial development, to in turn promote economic growth;
• have mutually benefitting engagement with their communities, to engender vibrant economically sustainable communities providing fulfilling employment and professional, business and enterprise opportunities in all its sectors,
• be intimately connected to the real world, and have a major positive societal impact through its education and research programs, generation and commercialization of new knowledge and technology;
• help build knowledge and human-centered society;
and contribute to progressive development of the society in all its domains: family and living, social and cultural, scientific and technological, medical and healthcare, agricultural and food provision, legal and judicial.
In projecting a visionary perspective on the role of a university in society, Prof. Ghista states: "A progressive society constitutes a group of people moving in unison from the initial expressions of cooperative community living to ensconcement in neo-humanism, by channeling narrow divisive sentiments into universalism. A university is verily a laboratory for the development of such a progressive society, by delineation of its ideals in all fields of human thought and endeavor, and by the development of education and research programs for imparting these ideals".
"A university hence needs to have a pulse of the problems confronting society and a clear delineation of its role in cultivating the requisite solutions for its progress. One of the tasks at hand is to develop a new Global Order (devoid of North-South differences), wherein people in all walks of life and social strata find fulfillment in developing their potentialities and contributing towards the evolution of a neo humanistic society."