A father and son will be recognized at the upcoming 118th Callaway Kingdom Dinner.
Amit Parulekar was chosen to be the guest of honor of the event. The guest of honor is awarded to someone who was born and raised in Callaway County, but left the area and became successful.
Parulekar said it is an honor to be recognized by the community.
“It kind of speaks to your accomplishments, but I think it’s also a reflection of what kind of contribution your whole family has to the community,” Parulekar said.
He was born in Mexico, Missouri to Mangal and Dilip Parulekar. He has an older sister, Ashwini.
Parulekar grew up in Fulton and attended Fulton Public Schools, graduating in 1998, according to a release.
While in school, he played soccer, basketball and tennis for the Fulton Hornets. He also played trumpet in the school band.
After graduating from Fulton High School, Parulekar attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He received his combined BA and MD in 2004, a statement said.
Upon completion of medical school, he received further medical training at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in Saint Louis.
While there, Parulekar “completed clinical training in internal medicine, lung disease, critical care medicine, and lung transplantation,” a statement said. He has also done additional translational research related to asthma.
After completing his medical education in 2010, Parulekar began at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where he served as director of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Scholarship Program. He also served as medical director of lung and heart-lung transplants at Baylor, according to a release.
Parulekar’s research at Baylor focused on outcomes in patients with severe asthma and lung transplants. Research for him has led to grants and several peer-reviewed publications.
While at Baylor, he also completed a master’s degree in clinical investigation from Baylor College of Medicine and an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, according to a release.
He received his professorship at Baylor College of Medicine in 2018.
After 10 years at Baylor, Parulekar transferred to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. At Vanderbilt he served as medical director of lung transplantation and led the lung transplant program. He also helped Vanderbilt perform some of the first lung transplants for COVID-related lung damage in the country, according to a release.
Parulekar returned to Texas in 2021 when he helped launch the first lung transplant program in the history of HCA Healthcare hospitals.
After more than a year in consultancy, Parulekar has assumed the position of director of global medical affairs in infections and immunity at Roche in Pleasanton, Calif., according to a release.
He currently lives in Houston.
Though she currently lives in Texas, she said Callaway County is somehow still home.
“It’s where I grew up, sort of your early formative years. More than anything, I have a lot of fond memories of my time then,” Parulekar said.
Amit isn’t the only member of his family who will be recognized at the Kingdom of Callaway Supper.
His father, Dilip Parulekar, was shortlisted to receive the Settler’s Award. This award is presented to a community member who was not born or raised in Callaway County, but has moved to the area and made an impact in the community.
Dilip moved to Fulton in 1976 and practiced medicine in the area for the next 36 years. He died at the age of 77 in November.
“He was well loved by his community, colleagues and patients,” his obituary states.
His daughter, Ashwini, will collect the award on his behalf.
Amit said it is an honor that his father receives the Settler’s Award.
“It would have been nice if he’d been around to receive it, but still I think he would have seen it as a reflection of the good things he’s done over the years,” she said.
Dilip Parulekar, who will receive the Settler’s Award at the Kingdom of Callaway Supper.