Press Release — July 01, 2020

Dr. Jajini Varghese Honored as One of the 2020 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World


July 1, 2020, St. Louis, USA — For her incredible scientific contributions to diagnosing and treating breast cancer, Dr. Jajini Varghese of the United Kingdom has been selected as a 2020 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (JCI TOYP) Honoree in the category of Medical Innovation.

After obtaining a First Class degree in Medicine, Jajini Varghese became one of the few doctors awarded the Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship at the University of Cambridge to complete her MPhil and PhD on the Genetics of Breast Cancer. Noticing her colleagues struggled with course expenses, she was instrumental in setting up full scholarships seventeen years back for Indian students to study medicine. The scholars are then asked to practice in an underserved area of India.

Dr. Varghese’s mission is restoring the lives of women affected by breast cancer. Her research at the University of Cambridge in collaboration with Harvard University and the Mayo Clinic (USA), led to identifying the mutation in the ZNF365 gene associated with breast cancer, which has global ramifications in women with high breast density. This heritable mutation is now used worldwide as part of a panel to identify high risk women to offer early treatment. Her work was published in several highly cited journals, including multiple papers in Nature Genetics.

She is currently a plastic surgeon at St Barts Hospital in London and is Honorary Clinical Lecturer at University College, London. With medical advances, many women live beyond the initial diagnosis of breast cancer. Her current work focuses on providing women as normal a body as possible following this procedure through extensive reconstructive oncoplastic surgery. For women in developing countries, she has adopted strategies to prevent breast cancer by offering early screening.

Dr. Varghese’s work has won many awards, like top prize at the Association of Breast Surgery Conference and UK Radiology International Congress, a gratifying feat in a male-dominated industry. She delights in trying new things and constantly innovates. “This is an exciting time,” she says. “I believe the answers are there for the asking; we only need the courage and the will to look.”

About JCI TOYP: JCI (Junior Chamber International) honors ten outstanding young people under the age of 40 each year. These individuals exemplify the spirit of the JCI Mission and have extraordinary accomplishments regarding individual development, business and entrepreneurship, community action and international cooperation. Whether through service, innovation, determination or revolutionary thinking, these young leaders create positive change on a local and global level.

The ten honorees will be recognized at the 2020 JCI Awards Ceremony at the 2020 JCI World Congress in November.

About JCI: JCI, a global leadership organization, provides personal and professional development opportunities to young leaders age 18 to 40. Through its international network of around 110 countries, JCI unites all sectors of society and empowers the leaders of tomorrow to create positive and lasting change today. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Alex Vietor
Communications Manager

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