Google today honored Dr. Kamal Ranadive with a doodle to mark her 140th birth anniversary. Ranadive is best known for her groundbreaking cancer research and devotion to developing an equitable society through science and education.
The doodle was illustrated by India-based artist Ibrahim Rayintakath and shows Ranadive looking at a microscope.
Kamal Samarath, better known as Kamal Ranadive, was born in 1917 in Pune. Her father encouraged her to pursue a medical education, but Ranadive found her calling in biology instead.
In 1949, she received a doctorate in cytology, the study of cells, while working as a researcher in the Indian Cancer Research Center (ICRC). After a fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, she returned to Mumbai and the ICRC, where she established the country’s first tissue culture laboratory.
As the director of the ICRC and a pioneer in animal modeling of cancer development, Ranadive was among the first researchers in India to propose a link between breast cancer and heredity and to identify the links among cancers and certain viruses.
Ranadive studied Mycobacterium leprae, the bacterium that causes leprosy, and aided in developing a vaccine. In 1973, along with her 11 colleagues she founded the Indian Women Scientists’ Association (IWSA) to support women in scientific fields.
“Ranadive also encouraged students and Indian scholars abroad to return to India and put their knowledge to work for their communities. After retiring in 1989, Ranadive worked in rural communities in Maharashtra, training women as healthcare workers and providing health and nutrition education. The IWSA now has 11 chapters in India and provides scholarships and childcare options for women in science,” Google wrote in a statement.