Perhaps you noticed yesterday’s Google Drawing feature a woman in a lab coat looking under a microscope. This woman was Dr. Kamal Ranavide, an Indian biomedical scientist who is known for her research linking cancer and viruses.
Dr. Ranavide was born in 1917 in Pune, India. In 1949, she received her degree in cytology, the study of cells, while working as a researcher in the Indian Cancer Research Center (ICRC). She was accepted into a fellowship at Johns Hopkins University. Upon completion, she returned to India and the ICRC where she established the country’s first tissue culture laboratory.
Not only did she propose a link between certain viruses and cancer, she also was among the first researchers to notice a genetic correlation with breast cancer. She also studied Mycobacterium leprae, the bacteria that causes leprosy, and aided in developing a vaccine.
In 1973, Dr. Ranavide and 11 colleagues founded the Indian Women Scientists’ Association to support women in scientific fields.