Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology

: 2023  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 441--442

In memoriam: Dr. Vijay Vinayak Joshi, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPath (March 10, 1936–March 16, 2023)

Megha G Joshi1, Dhaneshwar N Lanjewar2,  
1 Senior Staff Pathologist, Winchester Hospital; Medical Director, FMC and WIUC Laboratories, Beth-Israel-Lahey Health, MA, USA; Chair, Massachusetts Delegation of Pathologists, CAP, Executive Committee, Massachusetts Society of Pathologists; Vice President/President Elect, AIPNA, Bhuj, Gujarat, India
2 Grant Government Medical College, Mumbai, Professor and Head of Pathology, Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhuj, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Megha G Joshi
Department of Pathology, Winchester Hospital, 41 Highland Avenue, Winchester, MA 01890

How to cite this article:
Joshi MG, Lanjewar DN. In memoriam: Dr. Vijay Vinayak Joshi, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPath (March 10, 1936–March 16, 2023).Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2023;66:441-442

How to cite this URL:
Joshi MG, Lanjewar DN. In memoriam: Dr. Vijay Vinayak Joshi, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPath (March 10, 1936–March 16, 2023). Indian J Pathol Microbiol [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 Sep 30 ];66:441-442
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We are all saddened by the passing away of Dr. Vijay V. Joshi, born in Pune, on March 10, 1936. Dr. Joshi lived a very productive life, teaching pediatric pathology well into his mid-eighties and beyond. As an erudite scholar, his books such as Pathology of AIDS and Other Manifestations of HIV Infection, Common Problems in Pediatric Pathology, and Handbook of Placental Pathology were very timely and popular. His passing away was mourned not only in the USA and Canada but also in India, where he had taught at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Chandigarh, and Seth G.S. Medical College, Mumbai, from 1975 to 1980.

Dr. Vijay Joshi completed his MBBS from B.J. Medical College, Pune, in 1959, and his MD in Pathology from Sir J.J. Hospital and Grant Medical College, Mumbai, in 1962. His zeal and academic rigor led him to pursue further training in the USA, where he was a resident alongside the late Dr. Arun Chitale at the Medical College of Virginia from 1965 to 1968. Ahead of his time, he also completed his Ph.D. from Western Ontario University, Canada, in 1970. His scientific approach, honed by his Ph.D. training, led to an in-depth analysis of neuroblastomas, pediatric acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and perinatal and placental pathology. In Canada, he was fortunate to have crossed paths with Daria Haust, the “Grand Lady of Pediatric Pathology,” who recommended Dr. Joshi for a position at Montreal Children's Hospital. It was at this point that Dr. Vijay Joshi began his career as a pediatric pathologist, and like Dr. Haust, he worked to promote the specialty of pediatric pathology worldwide. Like Daria Haust, who continued to serve as an adjunct at the Queen's Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine until she passed away at the age of 100, on January 11, 2022, Dr. Joshi too continued as an Affiliate Clinical Professor of Pathology at the Medical College of Virginia and a Consultant at Hartford Hospital until his terminal illness took over at age 86.

The promotion of pediatric pathology as a recognized subspecialty in India was a lifelong pursuit. After five years of experience in pediatric pathology and clinicopathologic research in North America, Dr. Vijay Joshi felt that he had enough experience to start promoting the specialty in India and returned to India with that in mind in 1975. However, the time was not right, and he found himself signing out general surgical pathology cases and realized that opportunities for clinicopathologic research were few. He returned to the USA in 1980, but his dream to promote the specialty of “Pediatric Pathology in India” remained as vibrant as ever. He continued to give lectures and organize workshops and mini-Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses once or twice a year in medical centers in India so that pathologists in India could learn about pediatric pathology and serve India's 400 million children. In 1990, he collaborated with Anand Pandit, a researcher in pediatrics, and Dr. Avinash Pradhan, a pathologist on two research projects in neonatology and Indian childhood cirrhosis. As an extension of that collaboration, Dr. Vijay Joshi and Ashok Patwardhan successfully obtained a US $1.5 million grant (spread over 5 years from 1996 to 2001) to upgrade the departments of pediatrics, pediatric pathology, obstetrics, and radiology at Pune's KEM Research Institute.

A chance meeting with the late Dr. S. J. Nagolatimath in Madrid in 1990 led to the start of an Annual International CME in 1991. Subsequently, in 1996, this Annual International CME was named the AIPNA-ICP International CME, a joint venture of the Indian College of Pathologists (ICP) and the Association of Indian Pathologists of North America (AIPNA). This collaboration, which has continued uninterrupted for 28 years (virtually through the COVID-19 pandemic), brings together US, Canadian, and Indian pathologists to enhance and further pathology education. This would not have happened without the far-sighted vision of Dr. Vijay Joshi. As the US coordinator of the Annual AIPNA-ICP International CME (1996–2001), Dr. Joshi made it a point to include pediatric pathology topics and spread knowledge about pediatric pathology. The initiation of the pediatric pathology fellowship program at St. John's Medical Center in Bengaluru, India, was another feather in his cap as was the start of the Annual International CME course in Pediatric Pathology starting in 2016. Finally, in 2020, Dr. Vijay Joshi realized his dream of “establishing pediatric pathology as a recognized subspecialty in India,” when along with Dr. Ranganathan, Dr. Usha Kini, Dr. Nandita Kakkar, Dr. Anita Gupta, and many others the “Association of Pediatric Pathologists in India (APPI)” was officially instituted.

Dr. Vijay Joshi authored 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals, was an active member of the Pediatric AIDS Lymphoma Network, and was appointed Chairman of the Pediatric Oncology Group's Neuroblastoma Pathology Committee. Dr. Vijay Joshi cochaired the International Neuroblastoma Committee and was responsible for a new, prognostically significant classification of peripheral neuroblastic tumors. As a true renaissance man, Dr. Vijay Joshi coauthored with his wife Jayashree three Marathi books on the Major Ideas of Western Civilization. Dr. Vijay Joshi remained healthy and active into his eighties and credited his good health to regular brisk walking, eating moderately, reading, and meditating by listening to Indian classical music.

Born in British India and pre-independence, Dr. Joshi had a deep and abiding love for his motherland—India. In 1962, during the Indo-China War, disputing the sovereignty of the widely separated Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh regions, the defense forces lacked doctors and the central government appealed to all state governments to recruit young medical graduates and postgraduates for service. Dr. Vijay Joshi and Dr. U. L. Wagholikar of Grant Medical College, Mumbai, responded to the appeal and joined as civilian doctors, and they were posted along the Tezpur Border in Assam for nearly two and a half years (1962–65).

Dr. Joshi believed fervently that those of us who live comfortable lives should strive to improve the lot of those who suffer and those who live in poverty. He believed that one should look beyond one's immediate close family and treat the whole world as “our” family. As a dedicated physician–scientist, educator, mentor, and great role model, Dr. Vijay Joshi will continue to inspire the next generation of pathologists.