Bengal Immunologist Breaks 39-Year Drought to Win Prestigious Bhatnagar Award in Medical Sciences

Renowned immunologist Dr. Dipyaman Ganguly, hailing from Bengal, has received the prestigious Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in medical sciences after an impressive 39-year gap. Dr. Ganguly, a principal scientist at CSIR-IICB and a medical graduate from Medical College Hospital Kolkata, was recognised for his groundbreaking work in the fields of autoimmunity and metaflammation. Notably, his research also encompassed vital contributions to plasma therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic.


In response to this accolade, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee conveyed her congratulations to Dr. Ganguly, highlighting the significance of this recognition in the health-related arena, which has been long-awaited for scientists from Bengal.

Dr. Ganguly's academic journey is marked by remarkable achievements, including two PhDs—one in biotechnology and another in immunology—from prestigious institutions like MD Anderson Cancer Centre and Columbia University, respectively. His return to India in 2013 marked the initiation of his impactful research in immunology at CSIR-IICB Kolkata.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Ganguly actively engaged in collaborative research, particularly in randomised control trials involving plasma therapy for COVID patients. This research, published in the Lancet, demonstrated his commitment to addressing pressing global health challenges.

Dr. Ganguly also expressed his hope that this recognition would rekindle interest in medical science research among young clinicians, rejuvenating Bengal's rich legacy in this field.

In response to the demands of the pandemic, the CSIR-IICB Kolkata team transformed a scrap room into a state-of-the-art research lab in Salt Lake. Dr. Arun Bandyopadhyay, the director of CSIR-IICB Kolkata, emphasised that such awards should serve as inspiration for impactful research and vowed to provide the necessary support and resources for future endeavours.

This remarkable achievement by Dr. Dipyaman Ganguly bears significance as it marks the first time since 1984 that a Kolkata-based scientist has been honoured with the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in medical research. This award, instituted in memory of CSIR's first director general, is traditionally announced on the institution's foundation day, September 26.

Furthermore, among this year's awardees, two other researchers have ties to Bengal. Debabrata Maiti of IIT-Bombay, recognised for contributions to transition-metal catalysis, received his schooling in Bengal. Basudeb Dasgupta, from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, awarded in the physical sciences category, pursued his physics studies at Jadavpur University from 2000 to 2003.

This recognition underscores the state's enduring contributions to scientific excellence and its commitment to fostering a culture of innovation and research.

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