Prof Dr JG Kannappan was born on the 26th December 1934 at Coimbatore, Tamilnadu. The 4th of 8 brothers born to the Second World War Veteran Capt Dr JS Gangadharan & Mrs Shenbagavalli, during his early childhood he overcame numerous challenges owing to the world war that was disruptive to his family and his education. After his early schooling in Coimbatore following my high school at Bishop Heber School and graduating from St Joseph's College, Trichy, he enrolled in the very first batch at the Dental Department of the Madras Medical College in 1953. Following his Bachelor's Degree in Dentistry he underwent higher education securing a Master in Dental Surgery in Orthodontics & Pedodontics at the Nair Dental College under the tutelage of Dr AB Modi. This inspired him to further enhance his professional and academic pursuit when he spent a year at the prestigious Eastman Dental Institute, University College of London in 1969-71
Having been committed throughout in his educational, professional and academic pursuits, he served all over Tamilnadu as a member of the Tamilnadu Government Service since 1958 when he joined the Dental Department and by leading the Mobile Dental Unit and conducting numerous rural dental camps. Having served in various capacities, and promoted as Professor of Orthodontics at the newly formed Madras Dental College in 1980, he served as the Head of the Department of Orthodontics from 1988 and subsequently as the Dean of the Madras Dental College 1990 – 1992.Apart from mentoring and inspiring generations of medical and dental students, he served as a Captain and the Officer in Charge of the National Cadets Corps at the Madras Medical College and Madras Dental College and also evinced keen interest in furthering the cause of Tamil in the field of medicine and dentistry. During his illustrious career, he had numerous scientific, research and literary publications and was an avid speaker at various medical, dental, engineering and literary conferences. He had been the author and the principal subject of more than 32 books during this period in Tamil, English, Hindi& Telugu. Apart from heading various national and international Dental & Orthodontic Societies, he was the Founding President of the Indian Association of Forensic Odontology (IAFO) and the Indian Association for Dental Research (ISDR) and was instrumental in introducing Forensic Odontology within the curriculum of Dental Education.
After retirement, he was appointed as a Professor Emeritus at the Tamilnadu Dr MGR Medical University. Amongst the numerous awards and accolades he had received during his career were the Tamilnadu (TANSA) Book Prize for the 1st Scientific Book on Dentistry in Tamil, the first in the country to receive both the Hari Om Ashram Alembic Award and the prestigious Dr BC Roy Award, the HD Gupta Awardfrom King George Medical College, Lucknow and most importantly, the Life Time Achievement Award from his Alma Mater, the Madras Medical College.
Always proud of his dental profession and the students he had groomed and his love and passion for Tamil in the realms of science, religion, spirituality and literature, he had always maintained a global outlook with local pursuits. H is survived by his wife Dr Vasuki Kannappan and 3 children and carries his good work annually through the Kannappan –Vasuki Charitable Trust he founded by recognizing and awarding talented and accomplished individuals in the members of the Tamil and Indian Society, not only within Tamilnadu, but from overseas as well.
Alumni Association of Madras Medical College