Jan. 18, 1940 – April 4, 2021
Dr. Kondai L. Parthasarathy, former associate chief of the nuclear medicine department at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, died April 4 in Buffalo General Medical Center after a lengthy struggle with heart disease. He was 81.
Born in Alleppey, now Alappuzha, a city on the Arabian Sea in India’s southern state of Kerala, he was the oldest of 10 children. He graduated from Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore, India, and was certified in internal medicine, nuclear medicine and nuclear cardiology.
Encouraged by a medical school classmate, he came to North America to practice, first in Canada for two years in Moncton, New Brunswick, then at Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn.
He came to Roswell Park in 1971 to work with nuclear medicine pioneer Dr. Merrill Bender and retired in 1991 after suffering a major heart attack.
Known to all as Dr. Ken Parthas, he was an emeritus clinical associate professor at the University at Buffalo Medical School and a consultant for Buffalo Medical Group, Catholic Health and Kaleida Health.
In retirement, he also continued to publish research and give presentations.
He was recognized for his service to patients by the clinical staff of Roswell Park when he retired in 1991. He also received a distinguished service award in 1993 from Mercy Hospital and the Department of Nuclear Medicine at the UB Medical School.
He found satisfaction in teaching new doctors doing residency in nuclear medicine. In 2002, he was presented with the Collimator Award for Teaching Excellence by nuclear medicine residents in the UB medical school.
Dr. Parthasarathy often wrote to public officials offering suggestions and solutions to problems.
In 1989, he made headlines with an appeal to Gov. Mario Cuomo for better funding for Roswell Park. Another time, he wrote the governor proposing that the name Roswell Park Memorial Institute be changed because “memorial” suggested a negative outcome.
When the pandemic struck, he wrote to Dr. Anthony Fauci and leaders in his home state in India to encourage a study of the natural herb Neem to see whether it could cure Covid-19.
He was a member of the Association of Kerala Medical Graduates.
His wife of 55 years, the former Sarasa Reddiar, died Feb. 19.
Survivors include a daughter, Remla; a son, Murali; two brothers, three sisters and a granddaughter.
A celebration of life for Dr. and Mrs. Parthasarathy will be held at later date.