Koshy Eapen, a medical doctor from Kottayam, Kerala, currently doing his MSc Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has been awarded the London University's 'Excellence and Achievement Award 2004'.
According to Professor Colin Bundy, deputy vice-chancellor of the university, 29-year-old Eapen was chosen from among 145,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in all subjects from all 30 constituting colleges of the university.
The award is given for "scholastic and extraordinary achievements" and includes a certificate, a citation and a cash award from the bookstore chain Waterstone's.
Eapen was the recipient of the Outstanding Young Indian of the Year Award 2002 for his services in geriatric care in India.
He was the first Indian doctor to be awarded a full Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship. He has also won full prize awards from the Johns Hopkins University, North Carolina University in the US and the Erasmus University in Holland for research purposes.
Before joining the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on a Mountbatten Scholarship, Eapen did clinical training at the University of Oxford.
Eapen said on Wednesday night that he would return to Cambridge on a PhD scholarship in March next year followed by a year of research at the Johns Hopkins University.
Interestingly, Eapen, who holds the unique distinction of having studied all his life on full scholarships, has launched what is considered to be the largest private medical education charity in India, to fully fund 50 students throughout their studies.
He completed his schooling from Pallikkodam School in Kerala before qualifying in medicine from the Mahatma Gandhi University.
He was a lecturer teaching medical students in Kerala before proceeding to Cambridge for higher studies.