Growing up, she shared her father’s interest in botany and pursued higher education during a period when it was unusual for women to attend university. In 1944, she became the first woman in India to be awarded a Doctor of Science. Chatterjee’s research led to the development of an anti-epileptic drug, Ayush-56, as well as several antimalarial drugs. A prolific scientist, Chatterjee published approximately 400 papers in national and international journals.
A woman ahead of her time
Giants in History: Indian organic chemist Asima Chatterjee (1917 to 2006) studied the medicinal properties of plant products, especially compounds known as vinca alkaloids.