First woman D.Sc. (1944, Calcutta), FASc, FNA, Khaira Professor of Chemistry, Calcutta University. Recipient of the Padma Bhushan. The numerous awards she won include S S Bhatnagar award, C V Raman award of the UGC, P C Ray award, Sisir K Mitra Lectureship and Dr G P Chatterjee Lectureship. First lady president of the Indian Science Congress, member of Rajya Sabha. Her area of interest was natural products with special reference to the medicinal chemistry.
An excerpt from the publication "Asima Chatterjee":
"Asima Chatterjee showed early promise obtaining her M.Sc. degree from Calcutta University in 1938, with organic chemistry as the special paper and D.Sc. degree in 1944 from the same university under the guidance of P. K. Bose, the pioneer natural product chemist in India. She was the first woman to be awarded the D.Sc. of any Indian university. In 1940, Chatterjee joined Lady Brabourne College, Calcutta, as the Founder – Head of the Chemistry Department. In 1944, she was appointed as an Honorary Lecturer in Chemistry, Calcutta University. She worked with L.M. Parks University of Wisconsin, USA (1947) on naturally occurring glycosides, with L. Zechmeister, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA (1948–49) on Carotinoids and provitamins and with Paul Karrer, N.L. University of Zurich (1949–50) on biologically active alkaloids, which became her life-long interest ever since. After her return to India in 1950, she vigorously pursued investigations on the chemistry of Indian medicinal plants, particularly alkaloids and coumarins."