Google celebrates Indian chemist Asima Chatterjee's 100th birthday with Doodle: Lesser known facts about the scientist

Google is celebrating renowned Indian chemist Asima Chatterjee's 100th birth anniversary with a special Doodle, to honour her contributions to the world of chemistry and medicine.

Asima Chatterjee Doodle
Google Doodle of Asima Chatterjee Screengrab from Google Home Page

Google, on Saturday, has honoured renowned Indian chemist Asima Chatterjee with a special Doodle on her 100th birth anniversary. The doodle has been inked in various shades of green, with Chatterjee's serene, bespectacled face in the middle, with a background of chemical bond structures and leaves, thereby encompassing all her contributions to the scientific world.

What is Google Doodle?

Google Doodle is a temporary alteration of Google's Home Page logo for special occasions: to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other important events. The first Google Doodle, designed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, honoured the Burning Man Festival of 1998. Since then, Google has come out with more than 2000 Doodles, both regional and international. We often find artists, scientists, musicians, and popular personalities featured in Google Doodles.

Asima Chatterjee- the brilliant scientist, chemist, and phytomedic.

Born on September 23, 1917, Asima was brought up in Bengal, where she attended Scottish Church College, graduating with honours in chemistry. She obtained her Master's degree in Organic Chemistry in the year 1938, followed by a doctoral degree in 1944, both from the University of Calcutta.

She was one of the first women to be awarded a Doctorate degree from any Indian university. Her research was based on plant chemistry and synthetic organic chemistry. She also conducted research in the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the Caltech.

Chatterjee made several anti-convulsive, chemotherapy, and anti-malarial drugs. She gave special emphasis on drugs that could cure epilepsy and malaria. Her most significant contribution, however, was in the field of vinca alkaloids- compounds from the Madagascar periwinkle plant, which are now used in chemotherapy treatment.

In 1940, Asima founded the chemistry department at Lady Brabourne College in Kolkata, India. She became a Reader in the Department of Pure Chemistry at University College of Science of the University of Calcutta in the year 1954. She was globally recognised for her contributions to the field of medicine. The Indian Government honoured her with the Padma Bhushan in 1975.

Asima was the first female recipient of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award, along with being the first female scientist to be elected General President of the Indian Science Congress Association. She was also a Member of the Rajya Sabha from February 1982 to May 1. Chatterjee left the world on November 22, 2006, at the age of 89.