You Know Who is Kamala Sohonie ?

Who is Kamala Sohonie

Kamala Sohonie (1912-1998) was an Indian biochemist and the first Indian woman to receive a Ph.D. in a scientific discipline. She made significant contributions to the field of biochemistry in India and played a key role in establishing scientific research institutions in the country.

Sohonie was born on March 24, 1912, in Bombay (now Mumbai), India. She completed her undergraduate studies at Wilson College in Bombay and then pursued a master’s degree in organic chemistry at the University of Bombay. Later, she obtained a scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, where she completed her Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1939.

After completing her doctoral studies, Sohonie returned to India and joined the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore as a research fellow. She worked under the guidance of Sir C.V. Raman, a Nobel laureate physicist, and conducted research on the nutritional aspects of Indian food grains. Her work focused on the chemical composition and nutritional value of various cereals and pulses, which was crucial for addressing food shortages during World War II.

In 1943, Sohonie joined the Lady Hardinge Medical College in Delhi as a lecturer in the Department of Physiology. She became a prominent figure in the field of biochemistry in India, contributing to the understanding of metabolic disorders and nutrition-related diseases. Sohonie’s research spanned topics such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, and the effects of malnutrition on human health.

Sohonie’s contributions to Indian science extended beyond her research. She actively participated in the establishment of the Indian Women Scientists’ Association, which aimed to promote scientific education and research among women in India. She also played a significant role in setting up the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) in Mysore (now Mysuru), which became a premier institution for food research in the country.

In recognition of her achievements, Sohonie received several accolades and honors during her lifetime. She was elected as a Fellow of the National Institute of Sciences of India and served as the President of the Indian Women Scientists’ Association. In 1977, she received the prestigious Padma Shri award from the Indian government for her contributions to the field of biochemistry.

Kamala Sohonie’s work paved the way for future generations of Indian women scientists and played a crucial role in the development of scientific research in India. Her legacy continues to inspire and encourage aspiring scientists, particularly women, to pursue careers in science and make significant contributions to society.

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