Indraneel Mittra obtained his MBBS degree from the University of Delhi and did his post-graduate training in surgery in UK to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1971). He obtained his PhD degree (1977) in the area of cancer biology from the University of London and did his post-doctoral training with Dr Renato Dulbecco, at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, London. He did further post-doctoral work at the Institute of Cancer Research and St Bartholomew's Hospital in London. Mittra discovered a novel form of prolactin with mitogenic activity which was also found to have anti-angiogenic activity - a molecule on which research is being continued by several labotratories around the world today. He became a clinical Professor in Mumbai University and has been Visiting Professor to several international institutions. Currently, Mittra is Dr. Ernest Borges Chair in Translational Research and Professor Emeritus, Department of Surgical Oncology at Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai.
Academic and Research Achievements: Mittra's special interest has been cancer surgery, especially breast cancer, which he pursued at Guy's Hospital, London. On returning to India in 1982, Mittra joined the Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH), Mumbai as a consultant surgeon in the Department of Surgical Oncology and simultaneously as the Head of the new division of Laboratory Medicine. His laboratory pursuits were in the area of hormone receptors and prognostic biomarkers in breast and other cancers. Later, his interests led him to the study of fundamental problems of malingnant transformation and more recently that of DNA damage. Mittra published papers both in clinical as well as basic research areas in major international journals and guided many PhD students.
Other Contributions: Mittra was the Founder Principal Investigator of a major randomized control trial of early detection of breast and cervical cancer using low-cost technology approaches involving 150,000 women in the suburbs of Mumbai. He set up the first ever-dedicated Breast Unit in India and also a new Department of Laboratory Medicine, both at TMH. He is the Founder Chairman of the Indian Breast group. Together with the European School of Oncology, Mittra launched an international foundation called the 'challenge fund' to promote relevant research in cancer control in countries with limited resources. Mittra is/has been on the Editorial/Advisory Board of several international journals such as Journal of Biosciences, British Medical Journal, Lancet Oncology, Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, British Journal of Cancer, European Journal of Cancer, etc. Mittra has also served on the Council of INSA (2003-05).
Awards and Honours: Mittra held the prestigious Pearce Gould Professorship at the University College, London (1998). He was elected to the Fellowship of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.