Bishnupada Mukerji obtained his DSc (1936) from University of Michigan, USA specializing in pharmacology. He served as the Director, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow (1951-63) and Chittaranjan National Cancer Research Centre, Kolkata (1963-68); Visiting Lecturer and Honorary Visiting Scientist (1971), Department of Biochemistry, University of Calcutta; and Consultant, Reproductive Biology, Ford Foundation Office, Kolkata.
Academic and Research Achievements: Mukerji was a great organizer of medical and pharmacological research in India and promoted standardization of drugs and several other areas of medicine and pharmacology. He is well known for his work on dextrorotatory hydroocupridine derivatives, effect of anterior pituitary extracts on smooth muscles under the influence of some amines related to ephedrine, effect of sodium nitrate and methylene blue on thiocyanate formation in cyanide poisoning, and method of determining prothrombin time. He also did extensive research on the medicinal value of Alstonia scholaris and Caesalpinia bonducella, therapeutic action of snake venom, prolongation of insulin effect, biological standardization of liver extracts by pigeon method, and assay of histamine content of tissue extracts using antihistaminic drugs, to mention a few.
Other Contributions: Mukerji’s contributions to Indian Pharmacopoeia and Indian Pharmaceutical Codex stand out. A highly devoted medical scientist, Mukherji was responsible for the establishment of many research laboratories and the Indian Brain Research Association, Indian Association for Biological Sciences and the Indian Biophysical Society.
Awards and Honours: Mukerji was the recipient of Griffith Memorial Prize (1938); Nilmony Brahmachari Medal (1938); Asutosh Mookerjee Medal (1940); Indian Science Congress Medal (1951); Barclay Medal (Asiatic Society) (1954); President, Indian Science Congress (1960-61); Squibb International Award (1962); HK Sen Memorial Medal (1963); Acharya PC Ray Medal (1975); Shree Dhanwantari Medal (INSA) (1976); Padma Shri (1962). He was the Member/Fellow, Asiatic Society, Indian Pharmaceutical Association, Physiological Society of India, Institution of Chemists (India), American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, American Pharmaceutical Association Society of Pharmacognosy, and pharmacological societies of several other countries; Member, Council (1947, 1950-51), Vice-President (1954-55); Foreign Secretary (1957-60, 1967-68), INSA.