Google honours trailblazer Asima Chatterjee on birth centenary

Pablo Tucker
September 23, 2017

Google Doodle celebrates Dr Asima Chatterjee's birth anniversary.

The Google Doodle is running on what would have been Chatterjee's 100th birthday.

It's been transformed into a skeletal formula, a series of hexagons with single and double bond lines between them, commonly used to represent carbon and hydrogen atoms in organic chemistry.

According to Google, "Dr. Chatterjee primarily studied the medicinal properties of plants native to India".

Google has additionally immortalised Dr. Asima Chatterjee's life and work in its Google Arts & Culture, which shows early photos of Dr Chatterjee alongside her male counterparts.

Throughout her career, Chatterjee's research contributed to the development of drugs that treated epilepsy and malaria. Dr Asima not only completed her undergraduate degree in organic chemistry, but she also went on to receive a Doctorate of Science.

She earned several accoldaes for her work and contribution.

Dr. Chatterjee's "groundbreaking contributions to medicine were recognized by universities all over the world", Google noted.

Among her notable instructors at the time were Prafulla Chandra Roy and Prof S. She also conducted research in the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the Caltech.

She had 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.

Chatterjee made several anti-convulsive, chemotherapy, and anti-malarial drugs.

In the Doodle, there is a bespectacled woman with organic compound structures making up the Google logo around her, signifying Dr. Chatterjee's contribution to organic chemistry. She made India proud on an global level.

Born in 1917 in Calcutta, Asima Chatterjee was the first woman to be awarded a Doctor of Science, in 1944, by the University of Calcutta.

Chatterjee was also the first female scientist to be elected as the General President of the Indian Science Congress, in 1975.

In 1940, Chatterjee joined Lady Brabourne College in Calcutta, as the founder and head of the college's department of chemistry.

In 1944 she was appointed a Honorary Lecturer in Chemistry, Calcutta University. In 1961, she received the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in chemical science, in the process becoming the first female recipient of this award.

Her work on Rauwolfia species brought her into close association with the late Professor Dr.

Ghosh and other Vice-Chancellors of Calcutta University.

"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". She became a Reader in the Department of Pure Chemistry at University College of Science of the University of Calcutta in the year 1954.

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