Google doodle honors Dr. Ranadive on birth anniversary

Kamal Samarath, better known as Kamal Ranadive, was born in 1917 in Pune, India. Her father encouraged her to pursue a medical education. However, 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 (then Bombay) and the ICRC. It was then and there that she established the country’s first tissue culture laboratory.

She was 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. She was also the first to identify the links between cancers and certain viruses. Ranadive studied Mycobacterium leprae, the bacterium that causes leprosy. Then she aided in developing a vaccine. In 1973, Dr. Ranadive and 11 colleagues founded the Indian Women Scientists’ Association (IWSA) to support women in scientific fields. Ranadive retired in 1989. After her retirement, Dr. Ranadive worked in rural communities in Maharashtra, training women as healthcare workers and providing health and nutrition education.

Google on Monday dedicated a doodle to this Indian cell biologist Dr. Kamal Ranadive to mark her 104th birth anniversary. She is best known for her groundbreaking cancer research. She is also known for her devotion to creating a more equitable society through science and education.

The doodle, illustrated by India-based artist Ibrahim Rayintakath, shows Dr. Ranadive looking at a microscope. While creating the Dr. Kamal Ranadive Google doodle, Rayintakath revealed certain facts in a Google blog post. He said that he took inspiration from lab aesthetics in the late 20th century and the microscopic world of cells related to leprosy and cancer. Through this Doodle, the artist hoped that people would get curious to learn more about this Indian doctor and her contributions to the field of biology.

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, Dr. 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.

This doctor’s dedication to health justice and education remains influential to her students who work as scientists today. She was a gift to society and we are glad Google has noticed her contribution to the worlds of science and education. We are also glad that Google dedicated this special doodle to her.

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