Searching giant Google have made a special Doodle to pay tributes to Indian chemist Asima Chatterjee on her 100th birth anniversary – today.
Getting a special Google Doodle dedication demands some significant hard-ass contribution to the world, they don’t just greet anybody and everybody on there. Today’s Google Doodle is dedicated to an Indian chemist Asima Chatterjee, so if we don’t know already, let’s find out who she was and what made Google to tribute her with the honour. Born on September 23rd, 1917, Dr Asima Chatterjee had made major contributions on researches of vinca alkaloids and also in development of anti-epileptic and anti-malarial drugs, which has helped numerous people to save their lives from the disease. But her story is beyond this, success always comes after unimaginable struggle.
Growing up in 1920s India, it was almost unheard for a young woman to receive doctorate level education and pursue scientific research, in fact, Dr Asima Chatterjee was arguably the second Indian woman to earn a Ph.D. Despite being ‘unconventional’ by pursuing such a then-uncommon career, she not only completed her undergraduate degree in organic chemistry, but also went ahead to receive a Doctorate of Science degree. She was also the first woman to be elected as the General President of the Indian Science Congress – which is an elite institution responsible for conducting scientific researches by Indian scientists overseas.
Throughout her career, she successfully developed the anti-epileptic drug Ayush-56 from Marsilia minuta and an anti-malarial drug from Alstonia scholaris, Swrrtia chirata, Picrorphiza kurroa and Ceasalpinna crista. She also researched on alkaloids, coumarins and terpenoids, analytical chemistry, and mechanistic organic chemistry. Of which, 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. She excelled at her work and has also written a book on chemistry in Bengali language – Sarai Madhyamic Rasayan, which is widely used as reference material for secondary school students.
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 and the Sir C. V. Raman Award in 1982. Later, Chatterjee also served as an MP in Rajya Sabha. With all these, she deserves to receive the honour and respect – Happy 100th Birthday Dr Asima Chatterjee.