New Delhi: Online search giant Google is celebrating the 100th birthday of Asima Chatterjee, a renowned Indian chemist, who was the first female Doctorate of Science in India from an Indian University.
Born on September 23, 1917, Dr Asima Chatterjee has various contributions on the research of vinca alkaloids and the development of anti-epileptic and anti-malarial drugs.
Chatterjee primarily studied the medicinal properties of plants native to India. Throughout her career, her research contributed to the development of drugs that treated epilepsy and malaria. Her most noted contribution to the field, however, was her work on vinca alkaloids. Alkaloids are compounds made from plants, often to treat medical ailments. Vinca alkaloids, which come from the Madagascar periwinkle plant, are used today in chemotherapy treatment because they help slow down or stall the multiplying of cancer cells."
Her groundbreaking contributions to medicine were recognized by universities all over the world. She received numerous accolades from the Indian government, including some of the highest awards (like the Padma Bhushan) and an appointment to the upper house of Parliament.
Asima joined the Lady Brabourne College in Calcutta Universtiy in 1940 and founded the department of chemistry in the college.
Asima Chatterjee's work in the field of science opened the doors for millions of women to excel in the field and her research on vinca alkaloids which is now widely used in chemotherapy and helps to slow down the growth rate of cancer cells.
Her phenomenal contributions have won Asima various awards and accolades from all over the world and she was also honoured with India's highest award, Padma Bhushan.
In 1975 she became the first woman to be appointed general president of the Indian Science Congress.
She had one child, a daughter called Julie, with her husband Dr. Baradananda Chatterjee, and died in 2006 in her nursing home at the age of 90.