Who was Dr. Kamal Ranadive?
Today’s Google honors a Women Biomedical Researcher on her 104th Birthday. Dr. Kamal Ranadive was an Indian cell biologist and is best known for her groundbreaking cancer research . She was devoted to creating a more equitable society for women and children through science and education.
Kamal was born in Pune, Maharastra India on 8 November 1917. Her parents were Dinesh Dattatreya Samarth and Shantabai Dinkar Samarth. Her father was a biologist who taught in the Fergusson College, Pune. Her father wanted her to study medicine but she was more fascinated with Biology. She started her college education at the Fergusson college with Botany and Zoology as her main subjects. She got her Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree with distinction in 1934.She then married J. T. Ranadive, a mathematician on 13 May 1939 and moved to Bombay. They had a son, named Anil Jaysingh.
While working as a researcher in the Indian Cancer Research Center (ICRC), In 1949, she received a doctorate in cytology (the study of cells). Later after finishing her fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, she returned to Mumbai (then Bombay) and the ICRC and started her professional career as a Senior Research Officer where she established the country’s first tissue culture laboratory.
Working as the director of the ICRC and a pioneer in animal modeling of cancer development, Ranadive was among the first researchers in India to propose a link between breast cancer and heredity and to identify the links among cancers and certain viruses. Ranadive didn’t stop here. She also studied Mycobacterium leprae, the bacterium that causes leprosy, and aided in developing a vaccine. In 1973, Dr. Ranadive and 11 colleagues founded the Indian Women Scientists’ Association (IWSA) to support women in scientific fields.
Kamal was awarded the Padma Bhushan (the third highest civilian award) for Medicine, in 1982 and also an Emeritus Medical Scientist of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Kamal published more than 200 scientific research papers on cancer and leprosy.