Asima Chatterjee was a renowned Indian chemist and was famous for her work in the field phytomedicine and organic chemistry. Her most distinctive work includes the invention of anti-malarial drug, development of anti-epileptic and research on vinca alkaloids.
She was born in a traditional Bengali film. She was excellent in her academics and after completion of her schooling; she obtained graduation degree from Scottish Church College in chemistry honors. She then obtained her post-graduate degree in organic chemistry and after which, she completed Ph.D. in 1944. Her research primarily focused on synthetic organic chemistry and chemistry of plant products. Her research revolved around chemistry and it led to the invention of chemotherapy, anti-malarial, and anti-convulsive drugs.
She began her career at Calcutta University’s Lady Brabourne College in the year 1940.She served as the founding head of chemistry department. She for her contribution to science conferred with a Doctorate of Science and in the process, she became the first ever woman to be felicitated with such an honour. For 20 years of her life, she served as Khaira professor of Chemistry from 1962 to 1982 at the University of Calcutta. She also started her own research institute and through which, she mentored numerous budding chemistry scholars. Chatterjee also wrote around 400 papers which were published in both national and international journals.For her achievements, Google paid homage to this trailblazer by making her doodle on her 100th birth anniversary.
In a decorated career that she has, she conferred with various awards and recognition and the most noted of them being Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award in the year 1975. She was in the process became the first women to be conferred with this prestigious award. She was also nominated for Rajya Sabha from 1982 to 1990.