Rikhab Chand Srimal received MBBS (1960) from KG Medical College (now KG Medical University), Lucknow and MD (Pharmacology) (1963) also from KG Medical College under the guidance of Professor KP Bhargava. Thereafter, he worked in the College as Postdoctoral Fellow, and then Lecturer in Pharmacology till 1966; Scientist 'C' (up to Scientist 'G'), Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow; Director (1993-97), Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow (now Indian Institute of Toxicology Research) and CSIR Emeritus Scientist (1997-2002) at the same Institute.
Academic and Research Achievements: Srimal's main interest was in the analysis of neurotransmitters and receptors involved in the central regulation of autonomic activities like cardiovascular control, stereotyped behaviour, thermoregulation and somatic reflexes. His work at CDRI resulted in development of a neuroleptic agent, an anxiolytic and an antidepressant. All of them were developed up to clinical trial stage. The neuroleptic was licensed to industry for marketing while anxiolytic was dropped due to its short duration of action in humans. He was the first to report antiinflammatory and antiarthritic activity of curcumin from turmeric. It successfully completed chronic toxicity studies and Phase III clinical trials. He worked out the mechanism of action of several centrally and peripherally acting anti-hypertensive drugs of synthetic as well as plant origin. Some of these potential drugs successfully completed chronic toxicity studies and subjected to clinical trials in humans. He authored more than 240 research papers, 34 reviews, 241 research reports and edited four books. He has 35 Indian and two international patents to his credit. He also mentored about 10 students for MD/PhD.
Other Contributions: Dr Srimal initiated Clinical Trial Programmes for the newly developed drugs at CDRI. At ITRC, he streamlined the research programmes and started the process for building a new GLP-complaint modern animal house. He is Founder Member of the Indian Pharmacological Society and Indian Academy of Neurosciences; and elected Member of British Pharmacological Society, Research Society of Anaesthesiology & Clinical Pharmacology, and Laboratory Animal Science Association of India. He served as Consultant, UNIDO (1987) and also for Commonwealth Secretariat, London (1990).
Awards and Honours: Dr Srimal was recipient of Senior CSIR-DAAD Fellowship (1980), Hamdard National Foundation Research Award (1985), Triveni Devi Ram Sahai Memorial Best Research Award (1992), Sir Ram Nath Chopra Oration by Indian Pharmacological Society (1994) and Sir Shriram Memorial Oration by National Academy of Medical Sciences (India) (1993-94). He was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, National Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum, Indian Academy of Neurosciences (also Dean: 1993, 2006; and President: 1994) and Vice President, Indian Pharmacological Society (1978). He was bestowed Prof. B. K. Bachhawat Memorial Life Time Achievement Award by Indian Academy of Neurosciences (2009).