Robert Heilig obtained his MD (1922) from the University of Vienna. His specialization was in Medical Science. He was Consulting Physician, National Panel Institute, Vienna (1932-38); Professor of Medicine, University of Mysore (1940-43); Chief Physician (1943-52), Professor of Medicine (1949-52), Honorary Adviser (1949-73) and Professor Emeritus (1965) at SMS Medical College, Jaipur.
Academic and Research Achievements: Heilig’s research achievements are in the field of human physiology and nutrition. He wrote a number of books on cardiology and tropical medicine. Dr. Heilig published a series of studies on metabolic effects of menstruation, functional changes during sleep and hypnosis, psychosomatic effects on organic functions, metabolic effects of different types of fevers, kala-azar tuberculosis, etc, he published papers on causes, prevention, diagnosis and management of cardiac diseases, on anaemias, nutrition and diet, particularly of predominently vegetarian patients, on effect of amoebiasis on intestinal absorption and liver functions, on effect of ankylostome infestation on kidneys , liver and gastric functions and malarial ‘nephritis.’ He described medical aspects of atomic energy and radiation hazards. Heilig was one of the first scientists to draw the attention of government to the crucial importance of population control in India. He stressed the utmost urgency of a strict family planning program publishing eight papers on the subject and convincing the political leaders, including the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, of the problem.
Contributions: Heilig was the Founder Fellow of National Academy of Medical Sciences (India). He also founded the Rajasthan Medical Journal.
Awards and Honours: Heilig obtained Order of Merit (First Class), FRG; Order of Honour for Science and Art, Austria; International Cooperation of Canada Medal (1965). The Government of Rajasthan named the SMS Medical College Library as Dr Robert Heilig Library in 1974.