Bhalchandra Babaji Dikshit obtained his MBBS (1925) from Bombay University; DPH (1925) from Calcutta University; MRCP (1933) and PhD (1934) from the University of Edinburgh, UK. His area of specialization was pharmacology. He was Professor of Pharmacology (1930-31), Medical College, Vishakhapatanam; Teaching Assistant (1931-34), Physiology, University of Edinburgh; Pharmacologist, Medical Research Department, Government of India; Head, Department of Pharmacology and Assistant Director (1935-46), Haffkine Institute, Mumbai; Principal and Professor of Physiology, BJ Medical College, Pune (1946-51); Surgeon General (1952-56), Mumbai; Director (1956-64), All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, Project Director, Basic Medical Sciences Institute (1965-67), Mumbai and Emeritus Professor (1972), AIIMS, New Delhi.
Academic and Research Achievements: A pharmacologist of repute, Dikshit studied acetylcholine in detail with respect to brain, hypothalamus, toxaemias, etc. He also studied the pharmacology of plasmaquine, action of narcotine on the gastro-intestinal tract, alepol in leprosy and the action of ephedrine on temperature. He proposed that acetycholine was involved in the imitation of sleep. He also studied the mechanisms behind cardiac irregularities during anesthesia. Dr Dikshit was one of the earliest investigators to study immunity to malaria.
Other Contributions: Dikshit was an innovator in medical education. He actively worked for granting of autonomous status to All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
Awards and Honours: Dikshit was a recipient of Padma Shri (1962) and Padma Bhushan (1964). He was a Fellow of Royal Society of Edinburgh; Royal College of Physicians; National Academy of Sciences (India); and National Academy of Medical Sciences (India).