Asima Chatterjee

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Asima Chatterjee
Asima Chatterjee 1.jpg
Asima Chatterjee
Born(1917-09-23)23 September 1917
Died22 November 2006(2006-11-22) (aged 89)
Kolkata, India
NationalityIndian
Alma mater University of Calcutta
Scientific career
Fields Organic chemistry, phytomedicine
Institutions Rajabazar Science College
University of Calcutta

Asima Chatterjee (23 September 1917 – 22 November 2006) [1] was an Indian organic chemist noted for her work in the fields of organic chemistry and phytomedicine. [2] Her most notable work includes research on vinca alkaloids, the development of anti-epileptic drugs, and development of anti-malarial drugs. She also authored a considerable volume of work on medicinal plants of the Indian subcontinent. She was the first woman to receive a Doctorate of Science from an Indian university. [2]

Contents

Biography

Early life

Asima Chatterjee (née Mukherjee) [3] was born on 23 September 1917 in Bengal. She was the eldest of the two children of a medical doctor Indra Narayan Mukherjee and his wife, Kamala Devi. [4] Chatterjee grew up in Calcutta in a middle-class family where she was encouraged to be in academia. [5] Her father was very interested in botany and Chatterjee shared in his interest. [6] She graduated with honors in chemistry from the Scottish Church College of the University of Calcutta in 1936. [7] [8]

Academic work

Asima Chatterjee received a master's degree (1938) and a doctoral degree (1944) in organic chemistry from the Rajabazar Science College campus of University of Calcutta. She was the first Indian woman to earn a doctorate in science. [5] Her doctoral research focused on the chemistry of plant products and synthetic organic chemistry. [9] Among her notable instructors at the time were Prafulla Chandra Roy and Satyendra Nath Bose. Additionally, she had research experience from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Caltech with László Zechmeister. [10]

Chatterjee's research concentrated on natural products chemistry and resulted in anti-convulsive, anti-malarial, and chemotherapy drugs. [9] She spent around forty years researching various alkaloid compounds. [11] She also discovered anti-epileptic activity [12] in Marsilea minuta and anti-malarial activity in the plants Alstonia scholaris , Swertia chirata , Picrorhiza kurroa and Caesalpinia crista . These agents, however, have not been shown to be clinically competitive with the medications currently used for these conditions. Her work led to the development of an epilepsy drug called Ayush-56 and several anti-malarial drugs. [11]

Chatterjee also wrote around 400 papers which were published in both national and international journals. [6]

Achievements

Chatterjee's contributions to science include the following: [13]

Career

She joined the Bethune College of the University of Calcutta and founded the department of chemistry there. [4] In 1954, Asima Chatterjee joined the University College of Science of the University of Calcutta, as reader in pure chemistry.

Awards and recognition

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. "Google honours Indian chemist Asima Chatterjee on 100th birthday". India Times. 23 February 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 The Shaping of Indian Science. p. 1036. Indian Science Congress Association, Presidential Addresses By Indian Science Congress Association. Published by Orient Blackswan, 2003. ISBN   978-81-7371-433-7
  3. Chatterjee, Asima.; Parks, Lloyd M. (1 May 2002). "The Structure of Verbenalin". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 71 (6): 2249–2250. doi:10.1021/ja01174a506.
  4. 1 2 "Asima Chatterjee And Her Pioneering Work in Medicinal Chemistry | #IndianWomenInHistory". Feminism in India. 2 November 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  5. 1 2 3 Smith, K.N. (23 September 2017). "Today's Google Doodle Honors Chemist Asima Chatterjee". Forbes. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  6. 1 2 Keating, Fiona (23 September 2017). "First Indian woman in history to be awarded a PhD for science would be 100 today". The Independent. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  7. Some Alumni of Scottish Church College in 175th Year Commemoration Volume Scottish Church College, 2008, p. 584
  8. 1 2 Chemistry alumni of Scottish Church College Archived 6 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  9. 1 2 valentinaproject (6 August 2014). "Asima Chatterjee, chemist". The Valentina Project. Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  10. Nagarajan, K (2014). "History of natural products chemistry in India" (PDF). Indian Journal of History of Science. 49 (4): 377–398.
  11. 1 2 Jayaraj, Nandita. "Asima Chatterjee, the Scientist Who Did So Much More in a Time of Less". The Wire. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  12. Basak, Swati (May 2015). "WOMEN, SCIENCE, EDUCATION AND EMPOWERMENT: ASIMA CHATTERJEE, THE GENIUS LADY" (PDF). IMPACT: International Journal of Research in Humanities, Arts and Literature. 3 (5): 133–138. ISSN   2321-8878 . Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  13. "Women Scientists of India: Dr. Asima Chatterjee - Google Arts & Culture". Google Cultural Institute. Retrieved 23 September 2017.

Further reading