Monday’s Google Doodle celebrates the 104th birthday of Kamal Ranadive, an Indian biomedical researcher known for her groundbreaking research on the connection cancers have with certain viruses.
Born Nov. 8, 1917, in Pune, India, Ranadive excelled in medical studies but chose instead to pursue a career in biological research. While working as a researcher in the Indian Cancer Research Centre, she earned a doctorate in cytology — the study of cells — and took a fellowship at Johns Hopkins University.
After the fellowship concluded, Ranadive returned to India and the ICRC, where she established the country’s first tissue culture laboratory in the 1960s. While serving as the ICRC’s director, she was among the first to propose a connection between development of breast cancer and heredity, as well as linking the susceptibility of cancer with hormones.
Ranadive’s research on the bacteria related to leprosy was instrumental in the development of a vaccine against the infectious disease. Her research of cancer through the medium of animals also led to greater understanding of the causes of leukemia and Esophageal cancer.
She was also dedicated to health education, providing medical and health advice to women in rural Indian villages with the support of the Indian Women Association, an organization she co-founded to support women in scientific fields. Her work researching cancer among women and children inspired female scientists in India to work on cancer research.
Ranadive died in 2001 at the age of 83.