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About Asima Chatterjee | Indian Scientist

Asima Chatterjee

Asima Chatterjee was born in 23 September 1979 and died in 22 November 2006 and she was an Indian organic chemist noted for her work in the field of organic chemistry and phytomedicine. Her most notable workincludes research on vinca alkaloids, the development of anti-epileptic drugs, and development of antimalarial drugs. She authored of considerable volume of work on medicinal plants of the Indian subcontinent and was the first woman to receive a doctorate of Science from an indian university.

Asima Chatterjee
Asima Chatterjee
Asima Chatterjee
Born23 September 1917
Calcutta, British India
(now Kolkata, India)
Died22 November 2006 (aged 89)
Kolkata, India
Alma materUniversity of Calcutta
Scientific career
FieldsOrganic chemistry, phytomedicine
InstitutionsUniversity of Calcutta


Early life

she was born on 23 September 1917 in Bengal was the eldest of the two children of a medical doctor Indra Narayan Mukherjee and his wife kamla Devi. she grew up in Calcutta in the middle class family where she was encouraged to get an education. She graduated with Honours in chemistry from the Scottish Church college of the University of Kolkata in 1936.

Academic work

she received a master's degree and a doctoral degree in 1938 and 1944 in organic chemistry from the University of Calcutta. she focused on the chemistry of plant products and synthetic organic chemistry. She had research experience from the University of Wisconsin Madison and Caltech.
her research on natural product chemistry resulted in anti-convulsive, anti-malarial, and chemotherapy drugs. She discovered antiepileptic activities. her work led to the development of epilepsy drug called Ayush-56 and several anti-malarial drugs.
she wrote around 400 papers which were published in both National and international journals.


she joined the Lady Brabourne College of the University of Calcutta and founded the department of chemistry there. In 1954 Asima Chatterjee join the University college of Science of the University of Calcutta as reader in pure chemistry.

Google honor

Google doodle, on 23 September 2017 celebrated the 100th birthday of Asima Chatterjee to be the first Indian woman to receive doctorate in Science from an Indian institute.

Awards and recognition

She was a premchand roychand scholar of the University of Kolkata.
She was the professor of chemistry, one of the most prestigious and coveted chairs of the University of Calcutta from 1962 to 1982.
She was elected a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy New Delhi in 1960.
In 1961 she received the Shanti swarup bhatnagar award in chemical science, becoming the first female recipient of this award.
In 1975 she was conferred the prestigious Padma Bhushan and became the first female scientist to be elected as the General president of the Indian Science Congress Association.
She was nominated by the President of India as a member of the rajya Sabha from the February 1982 to may 1990.
She was conferred the D.Sc. degree by the several Universities.

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