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Dilip Mahalanabis
Nationality Indian

Dilip Mahalanabis (born November 12, 1934) is an Indian pediatrician known for pioneering the use of oral rehydration therapy to treat diarrheal diseases. In the mid-1960s he did research on cholera and other diarrheal diseases at the Johns Hopkins International Center for Medical Research and Training in Calcutta, India. During the Bangladesh's war for independence he led the effort by the Johns Hopkins Center that demonstrated the dramatic life-saving effectiveness of oral rehydration therapy when cholera broke out in 1971 among refugees from East Bengal (now Bangladesh) who had sought asylum in West Bengal.


In the mid-1980s and early 1990s, he was a medical officer in the Diarrheal Disease Control Programme of the WHO. Later in the 1990s, he served as the Director of Clinical Research at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (ICDDR,B), Bangladesh.

In 1994, Mahalanabis was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In 2002 Dr. Mahalanabis, Dr. Nathaniel Pierce, Dr. David Nalin and Dr. Norbert Hirschhorn, were awarded the first Pollin Prize in Pediatric Research for their contributions to the discovery and implementation of oral rehydration therapy. In 2006 Dr. Mahalanabis, Dr. Richard A. Cash and Dr. David Nalin were awarded the Prince Mahidol Prize, also for their role in the development and application of oral rehydration therapy. Oral rehydration therapy is an alternative to intravenous rehydration therapy for preventing and treating dehydration from diarrhea when intravenous therapy is not available or feasible. Oral rehydration therapy is calculated by the World Health Organization to have saved the lives of over 60 million persons.

Personal life

Mahalanabis is married to Jayanti Mahalanabis.


  • Pollin Prize (2002)
  • Prince Mahidol Award (2006)
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