Prof A Vathsala graduated with a Bachelors of Science in the Premedical Curriculum from Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama and studied Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. She completed her training in Internal Medicine in Singapore and obtained her Membership in the Royal College of Physicians (United Kingdom). She underwent training in Renal Medicine at the Singapore General Hospital and received a Health Manpower Development Programme scholarship to undergo training in Transplantation at the University of Houston, Texas and the Cornell University School of Medicine, USA. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and a Fellow, Academy of Medicine (Singapore).
Upon completion of her training in transplantation, Prof Vathsala has devoted her entire career to develop clinical renal transplantation. She is passionate about transplantation as the treatment of choice for patients with kidney failure and has been a strong advocate for transplantation in general and equally strong opponent of commercialisation of organ donation. She has been at the helm of many of the milestones in renal transplantation Singapore, including the first spousal kidney transplant in 1991, cross-match positive deceased donor kidney transplants since 2007, the rare blood group incompatible and cross match positive kidney transplant performed at NUH in 2009 and part of the team that managed the first pancreas kidney transplant at NUH and Singapore in 2012. Under her guidance, the outcomes of renal transplantation in Singapore are among the best in the world. These excellent results have led to recognition of her as an individual as well as acknowledgement of the transplant programme under her charge as a centre of repute for clinical excellence, quality of care, teaching and research.
She receives referrals for clinical care of patients from centres all over the world, including Malaysia, Brunei, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, UK and USA. Professor Vathsala also has a strong interest in research in immunosuppression in transplantation and has participated in many laboratory and clinical studies and clinical trials in the field. Her research in transplantation, which has led to optimising the use of immunosuppressants in an Asian transplant population, has also contributed to the success of renal transplantation in Singapore by minimising toxicity while improving outcomes. She has more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals to her credit and has also written several book chapters in topics in transplantation and nephrology.
Prof Vathsala is also the Co-Director of the National University Centre for Organ Transplantation, National University Hospital.