In 1962, when Thumboo John Danaraj was appointed the Foundation Dean and Professor of Medicine to the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, he proposed that the Medical Faculty should have its own hospital. He wanted the medical students to have the best possible environment to train to be good competent doctors. And in turn a centre of excellence to inspire the students to greater heights besides serving the public with the resources of the medical faculty. The University Hospital (now UMMC) is the result of this decision.

Up to the 1950’s, the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya in Singapore, which was known previously as King Edward VII College of Medicine had been the only medical school in Malaya and Singapore. The output of doctors at that time was small: 60 per year forcing many Malayans to go overseas to seek undergraduate medical education.

Construction of the faculty building began in July 1963 right through March 1967 when the first wards were opened culminating finally in the completion of the Paediatric, Maternity and Rehabilitation Units which became functional in March 1968.

On 5th August 1968, the University Hospital was officially opened by the Malaysian King.

T.J. Danaraj had no qualms bringing in the best lecturers he could afford. The country had not enough doctors let alone lecturers and in the initial years the medical school had to depend on a large expatriate population to help establish the school.

In 1969 the first batch of students graduated, the first of many batches of doctors from UM.

He was awarded the title “Tan Sri” by the King of Malaysia in recognition of his contribution to the country. He was also honoured as Emeritus Professor of Medicine by the University of Malaya. His research was especially in the field of Tropical Eosinophilia for which he was awarded a Master of Medicine by the University of Malaya. His special fields of interest were neurology and cardiology. He did the work on primary arteritis of the aorta – Takayasu’s disease – together with his wife, Dr. Hee-Ong Wong, who was his co-author.

In 1989 T. J. Danaraj was the first receiver of the joint medal of the Royal College of Physicians of London and the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia. Danaraj received the award in recognition of his record in research and his encouragement of research activities.

Prof Danaraj continued to teach medical students as long as his health permitted. He continued to come to the university week after week, deligently taking students for Bedside teaching, case conferences and counselling students. His wife Prof HO Wong reported that once he was frustrated and upset by a group of students and returned home disappointed. The next morning she saw him dressing up and asked.. “Where are you going?”, to which he replied “To TEACH of course!”. This is a man whose life is teaching and STUDENTS.

Prof Danaral passed away in 1996.

In his memory….

Established in 1963, the Medical Library of the Faculty of Medicine serves the teaching, learning and research needs of the academic staff, undergraduate students, postgraduate students and researchers of the Faculty of Medicine as well as the needs of the nursing students, clinicians and professional staff of the University of Malaya Medical Centre. The Library was named as the T.J. Danaraj Medical Library on 5 May 2005 in memory of Tan Sri Datuk Emeritus Professor T.J. Danaraj who was responsible for the setting up of the Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital (now known as University of Malaya Medical Centre).

Papers by Prof Danaraj from 1949 to 1975

Tropical eosinophilia. A human model of parasitic immunopathology, with observations on serum IgE levels before and after treatment.
Neva FA, Kaplan AP, Pacheco G, Gray L, and Danaraj TJ
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 55(6):422-9, 1975 Jun

Visceral larva migrans in Malaya. Report of a case.
Lee HF and Danaraj TJ
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 21(2):174-7, 1972 Mar

University of Malaya Medical Centre.
Danaraj TJ
British journal of medical education 1(1):62-8, 1966 Dec

Indirect hemagglutination with extracts of various helminths in eosinophilic lung (tropical eosinophilia).
Pacheco G and Danaraj TJ
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 15(3):355-8, 1966 May

The etiology and pathology of eosinophilic lung (tropical eosinophilia).
Danaraj TJ, Pacheco G, Shanmugaratnam K, and Beaver PC
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 15(2):183-9, 1966 Mar

ETHANOL EXTRACTS OF VARIOUS HELMINTHS IN A COMPLEMENT FIXATION TEST FOR EOSINOPHILIC LUNG (TROPICAL EOSINOPHILIA).
PACHECO G and DANARAJ TJ
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 12:745-7, 1963 Sep

Primary arteritis of aorta causing renal artery stenosis and hypertension.
DANARAJ TJ, WONG HO, and THOMAS MA
British heart journal 25:153-65, 1963 Mar

Coronary artery disease in Malaya.
DANARAJ TJ
Cardiologia pratica 13:212-24, 1962 Feb

Intestinal helminths in relation to eosinophilic lung (tropical eosinophilia) in Singapore.
SCHACHER JF and DANARAJ TJ
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 9:616-9, 1960 Nov

Ebstein’s malformation of the tricuspid valve–a report of six cases.
DANARAJ TJ and LABROOY EB
Singapore medical journal 1:16-32, 1960 Mar

The roentgenographic appearance of eosinophilic lung (tropical eosinophilia).
KHOO FY and DANARAJ TJ
The American journal of roentgenology, radium therapy, and nuclear medicine 83:251-9, 1960 Feb

Obliterative brachiocephalic arteritis (pulseless disease).
DANARAJ TJ and ONG WH
The American journal of cardiology 5:277-9, 1960 Feb

Primary arteritis of abdominal aorta in childred causing bilateral stenosis of renal arteries and hypertension.
DANARAJ TJ and ONG WH
Circulation 20:856-63, 1959 Nov

Ethnic group differences in coronary heart disease in Singapore: an analysis of necropsy records.
DANARAJ TJ, ACKER MS, DANARAJ W, WONG HO, and TAN BY
American heart journal 58:516-26, 1959 Oct

Pathologic studies in eosinophilic lung (tropical eosinophilia); case reports.
DANARAJ TJ
A. M. A. archives of pathology 67(5):515-24, 1959 May

The serological diagnosis of eosinophilic lung (tropical eosinophilia) and its etiological implications.
DANARAJ TJ, DA SILVA LS, and SCHACHER JF
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 8(2, Part 1):151-9, 1959 Mar

Filariasis in Singapore.
DANARAJ TJ, SCHACHER JF, and COLLESS DH
The Medical journal of Malaya 12(4):605-12, 1958 Jun

The treatment of eosinophilic lung (tropical eosinophilia) with diethylcarbamazine.
DANARAJ TJ
The Quarterly journal of medicine 27(106):243-63, 1958 Apr

Pulmonary ascariasis resembling eosinophilic lung; autopsy report with description of larvae in the bronchioles.
BEAVER PC and DANARAJ TJ
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 7(1):100-11, 1958 Jan

Tropical pulmonary eosinophilia.
DANARAJ TJ
British medical journal 2(5037):161-2, 1957 Jul 20

Ventricular septal defect simulating patent ductus arteriosus.
DANARAJ TJ
British heart journal 18(2):279-82, 1956 Apr

Aneurysm of the thoracic aorta: an unusual presentation.
DANARAJ TJ
American heart journal 49(5):789-93, 1955 May

The cerebellar aspect of nutritional spinal ataxia.
DANARAJ TJ
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 43(3):343, pl, 1949 Nov

A case of arteriovenous aneurysm.
DANARAJ TJ
British medical journal 1(4616):1124, 1949 Jun 25