Biman Bihari Dey obtained his DSc (1915) from the University of London with a specialization in organic chemistry, electrochemistry and biochemistry. He later secured appointment as the Principal of the Presidency College (1943-44), Madras and eventually as the Director of Public Instruction (1944-46), Madras State and the Director of the Biochemistry Department (1948-50), University of Madras after working as the Director (1953-57) of the Central Electrochemical Research Institute, Karaikudi.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dey made notable contributions in the field of plant products. He is credited with the isolation of thevetin, a cardiac glycoside, from Thevetia nerifolia, the alkaloid heydotine from Heydotis auricularia, and toddalinine and toddalolactone from Toddalia aculeate. He elucidated the structure of toddalactone, a coumarin derivative. While in Germany during 1927-28, he did some biochemical research in collaboration with his students, which led to some interesting work on peroxidases. During World War II, he supplied scores of strains to the army for biological analysis by purifying commercial dyes. He also supplied tens of thousands of ampoules of pituitrin to hospitals by processing pituitary glands obtained from slaughterhouses in Madras. From slaughterhouse wastes, were produced insulin, thyoxine, adrenaline and pituitrin. His work also led to electrolytic production of important dyestuff intermediates like benzidine, toluidine, dianisidine, p-aminopherol and 2, 4-diaminophrol.
Other Contributions: Biman Bihari Dey was the author of A Laboratory Manual of Organic Chemistry and served on several committees of CSIR. He served as a Member in the INSA Council.
Awards and Honours: Professor Dey was elected the President of the Indian Chemical Society (1943-44), and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry (London).