Google Doodle honours Indian biochemist Kamala Sohonie
From her work on potatoes, she discovered the enzyme 'Cytochrome C' which plays an essential role in the electron transport chain, found in plants, human and animal cells
Google on Sunday remembered Indian biochemist Dr Kamala Sohonie with a Doodle on her 112th birth anniversary, who in 1939 became the first Indian woman to receive a PhD in a scientific discipline.
From her work on potatoes, she discovered the enzyme 'Cytochrome C' which plays an essential role in the electron transport chain (the process by which energy is created for organisms), found in plants, human and animal cells.
Born on June 18, 1911, in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, her father, Narayanarao Bhagvat, as well as her uncle, Madhavrao Bhagvat, were chemists and alumni of the erstwhile Tata Institute of Sciences (which later became the Indian Institute of Science) in Bengaluru.
Sohonie graduated in 1933 with a bachelor's in science from Bombay University.
Despite facing scepticism and gender bias, she became the first woman to be accepted into the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in the same year.
She was invited to Cambridge University in the UK to work under Dr Derek Richter in the Frederick G. Hopkins laboratory.
She returned to India in 1939 and was appointed professor and head of the department of biochemistry at Lady Hardinge Medical College in New Delhi.
Later, she worked at the Nutrition Research Laboratory, Coonoor as Assistant Director, focusing on the effects of vitamins.
She worked on the development of an affordable dietary supplement called Neera, made from palm nectar.
The nutritious drink, enriched with Vitamin C, proved to be a valuable resource for combating malnutrition among children and pregnant women.
She was awarded the Rashtrapati Award for her work in this subject.
An active member of the Consumer Guidance Society of India (CGSI), she died in 1998.