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On Monday, Google released a unique doodle in honour of cell biologist pioneer Kamal Ranadive’s 104th birthday. Ibrahim Rayintakath, an Indian artist, created the artwork. Kamal Samarath, better known by her stage name Kamal Ranadive, is renowned for her revolutionary work in the field of cancer research and commitment to improving social justice via science and education. In 1917, Ranadive was born in Pune.
Ranadive excelled academically because her father encouraged her to seek a career in medicine. She discovered during her study that biology was where she belonged. Ranadive obtained her doctorate in cytology—the study of cells—while employed as a researcher at the Indian Cancer Research Center (ICRC). Ranadive developed India’s first tissue culture laboratory after completing a fellowship at Baltimore’s John Hopkins University in Maryland, United States. She then went back to Mumbai and the ICRC. The Google Doodle, which honoured Ranadive’s groundbreaking work, also urged students and Indian scholars abroad to return to India and use their expertise for the benefit of the nation. “Ranadive ardently exhorted students and Indian academics overseas to go back to India and use their education to benefit their home countries’ communities. Dr. Ranadive worked in rural Maharashtra areas after retiring in 1989, educating locals about nutrition and health and teaching women to participate in the healthcare industry “said Google in a blog post.
Ranadive is a leader in the field of animal modelling of the genesis of cancer and was one of the first scientists in India to suggest a connection between breast cancer and heredity and to pinpoint the relationships between cancers and specific viruses. Her commitment to health justice and education continues to have an impact on her former students who are currently working as scientists.