Valiathan is national research professor at the Manipal University. After obtaining surgical training (Univ. of Liverpool), a master's (surgery), and fellowship (Royal College of Surgeons, England), he specialized in cardiac surgery (Johns Hopkins and Georgetown), and became fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Canada. He was faculty member at Georgetown Univ. Hospital, Postgrad. Medical Inst. (Chandigarh), Indian Inst. of Tech. (Chennai), Sree Chitra Tirunal Inst. (Trivandrum) and was past pres. of the Indian Natl. Science Academy. His awards include Hunterian professorship, Royal College of Surgeons of England; fellowship, Royal College of Physicians, London; Chevalier, order of palmes academiques, French Govt.; Samuel P.Asper Award of the Johns Hopkins Medical School; and 7 doctorates (h.c.). He is member of the Natl. Academies for Science, Med. and Eng. (India) and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, USA.