"One cannot have poor health and good skin: Skin wears its health like a badge for all to see, everything is unashamedly laid bare. Here it is, an organ that once developed disparate competing colours to help rebuild a species, and in doing so, displays this simple fact: evolution and skin colour are not words we visit in a book or museum; they
are windows to the soul of our natural origins".
"I draw inspiration from small things, even nature – it was in thinking about how grass doesn't grow under a pine tree did I come up with a new technique of skin grafting (LINK). More recently, while understanding skin lines (LINK), I became curious about nature’s golden spiral pattern (LINK) and came up with a new plastic surgical technique". (LINK)
"I think I am fundamentally a storyteller and stories are important both in literature as well as science,” Paul said. “My medical/scientific lectures are popular because people say my writing is lyrical. I might be a poet or philosopher at heart".
"Inspiring young minds.
I like working with kids from disadvantaged backgrounds and schools – I teach them creative writing and build school libraries. I give up a day a week for work in literacy. In Auckland alone there are 99 low-decile schools. That is frightening. For many of these ‘brown and poor’ kids it isn’t real to be a doctor or lawyer. I am hoping just to change the life of one kid by inspiring him or her".
Books, media, podcasts, video and other content about Dr. Sharad Paul, MD
Up-coming and highlights from global talks - 2018
1. Houston – The Houston Museum of Natural Sciences – Distinguished Lecture Series.
LECTURE - THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: PIGMENT, PATTERNS AND HEALTHCARE BY SHARAD PAUL SEPTEMBER
13, 2018, 6:30 PM · PLANETARIUM
"Why is skin a looking glass? Because one cannot have bad health and good skin." Drawing on his widely-acclaimed book, The Genetics of Health, Professor Sharad Paul, M.D. will share his uniquely creative scientific approach that uses nature as an inspiration to understand many aspects related to skin such as pigment, patterns and healthcare implications. Unexpected findings about skin science will be revealed.
2. Houston - The Genetics of Health
15 September 1:15pm to 2:15pm at the Allen Education Center at the Allen Education Center at the Asia Society Texas Center.
Mimi Swartz and Sharad Paul in conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy
"Medical narratives take us to the core of our being. In this compelling session, Mimi Swartz talks of her bestselling book Ticker, an account of the quest to create an artificial heart. Dr. Sharad Paul, acclaimed author of several books on the human body and the journey towards understanding it, speaks of how we decode our genes for better health. In conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy."
3. New York Asia Society, New York - Medical Narratives: The Pulse of the Story
20 Sept 3.40 to 4.20 PM
Sandeep Jauhar and Sharad Paul in conversation
Medical narratives reassert the primacy of the body in our understanding of the world. Practicing cardiologist Sandeep Jauhar’s book, Heart: A History, combines his families own moving history of heart disease with gripping scenes from the operating theater. Sharad Paul is a famed medical doctor and storyteller who has written several books on the shifting landscape of genetics, health, and evolution. His latest book is The Genetics of Health. Together, they speak of the narratives of the body and the choices we make in our search for health and balance.
Dr. Sharad Paul - Books
Sharad is considered the only author ever to have written, fiction, non-fiction, poetry and a medical textbook in a career. His non-fiction may read like literary prose and his fiction may seem spiritual or political. Who else would write a poetry book on melanoma, the deadly skin cancer with a surreptitious mission to improve patient-doctor communication?
His first novel, Cool Cut seemed both raw and real to readers, that it was re-released in an extended version by Harper Collins as The Kite Flyers in 2014.
He has featured at many literary festivals internationally and considered a thought-leader. In April 2015, a dinner was held at Keble College, Oxford, 'in honour of Dr. Sharad P. Paul.'
"Medicine is a complex narrative of human industry and scientific zeal, in a world full of disease, real and imagined. When genes were mapped, everyone assumed humanity would be reduced to binary code, we'd become digital humans living our imaginary lives.
But somethings small and selfish, our genes are a form of history. We have to embrace humanity's backstory and heredity, even if we cannot change it. Evolution may be complicated and messy, but we cannot turn our backs on it.
Good health needs some creative work – a sense of aerobicized urgency combined with knowledge of our genetic history".
"In each book, an author has a favorite line. In my latest novel, The Kite Flyers (Harper Collins, 2014), there is this passage: “Old friendships are a tunnel into our past.
No one should ask questions in a tunnel. Tunnels echo too much.” In the course of these wanderings, I came across many tunnels and realized I had to ask many questions, even if the answers surprised my scientific mind.
After all, biology has no bigotry—it welcomes both doubters and believers into its fold. As a physician and scientist, I had to listen carefully and make sure I was transcribing these evolutionary echoes... about food and fitness, hunger and health, mind and matter—things essential for the enjoyment of life’s goodness, a desire that gnaws at all of us".
Media and interviews with Dr. Sharad Paul
Academia, awards, speaking credits
Podcasts - with Dr. Sharad Paul
Magazine articles - Dr. Sharad Paul
Dr. Sharad P. Paul - Current Academic Positions
Adjunct Professor, Auckland University of Technology
Senior Lecturer (Skin Cancer), University of Queensland
Senior Lecturer (Department of Surgery), University of Auckland
Ko Awatea International Excellence Award for Leading (Health) Improvement on a Global Scale
Finalist - New Zealander of the Year Award 2012
Chair's Award 2012 -New Zealand Medical Association's highest award
Sharad is also an author, evolutionary biologist and holds a Masters in Medical Law and Ethics /Master of Philosophy (M Phil) from the University of Glasgow, and has completed a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) based on his ground-breaking research into BEST skin lines for cutaneous surgery. His Skin Surgery Clinic has one of the largest series of skin cancer patients worldwide, with over 100,000 consultations and 45,000 operations since the clinic opened in 1996.
Sharad has served on the National Commission of UNESCO, and teaches creative writing to disadvantaged children (by visiting schools personally once a week, and funds school libraries) via his own Baci Foundation. His past businesses, such as Baci Lounge, an award-winning bookstore served as a model of social entrepreneurship by funding literacy programmes in schools.
In 2008, his bookstore/café Baci Lounge won Auckland's Top Shop retail award, beating every other café. No wonder, he was called 'Renaissance Man' by Canvas magazine, and 'Polymath' by Good magazine, Sharad was named 'Open Heart Surgeon' by TIME magazine in 2008. Sharad initially trained in general and plastic surgery and is currently a Fellow of the Skin Cancer College of Australasia, and is also a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners. He has authored several academic publications and original articles that can be found here: orcid.org/0000-0001-9601-9109
Sharad is a sought-after speaker at both medical, literary and ideas conferences and recent conferences include:
2013 THiNK (alongside Robert De Niro, Garry Kasparov, Louise Leakey, VS Naipaul, Amitabh Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra)
2014 Auckland Writer's Festival (alongside Booker-prize winner Eleanor Catton and Alexander McCall Smith)
2015 Chennai Lit for Life
2016 TEDx Auckland; Jaipur Literary Festival (the world's largest literary festival alongside Stephen Fry, Margaret Atwood, William Dalrymple, Marlon James, Colm Toibin and Atul Gawande); Dalkey Book Festival (alongside Malcolm Gladwell)
2017 JLF London; Norway Literature Festival 2017; Dalkey Book Festival 2017 that featured Bernie Sanders and Colm Toibin)