Niraj Nath Das Gupta obtained a PhD degree (1938) from the University of London and a DSc degree from the University of Kalyani, with a specialization in biophysics, biomedical science and electron microscopy. He was initially employed as Sir Taraknath Palit Professor of Physics, University of Calcutta (1969-74) and Professor-in-charge, Electron Microscope Centre, University of Calcutta (1974-80) before becoming Professor and Head, Biophysics Division, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata (1951-69).
Academic and Research Achievements: Das Gupta did pioneering work in tracer studies on the uptake of radio-iodine in thyroid diseases and on the life-span of human leucocytes in leukaemia. He initiated electron microscopic research on bacterial chromosomes and on the morphology of the kala-azar parasite and Mycobacterium leprae. He further investigated the physical characteristics of haemoglobin molecules, and viral DNA molecules as well as their interactions with proteins and drug molecules.
Other Contributions: Das Gupta was elected as General Secretary of the Indian Physical Society and served as a Member on the Executive Committee of International Federation of Societies of Electron Microscopy and also of the American Physical Society and Institute of Physics (London). He became the Founder President, Electron Microscope Society of India in 1962 and remained the President of the Indian Photobiology Society from 1969 to 1973. Niraj Nath installed the first electron microscope in India and built up an active school of biophysical research in Calcutta. He moreover served on the editorial board of Ultramicroscopy, in addition to editing a book named Electron Microscopy in Life Sciences. He served on the INSA Council during 1970-72.
Awards and Honours: Other than being the recipient of the Mahendralal Sirkar Research Gold Medal awarded by the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science in 1950, he also won the Capt NN Dutt Memorial Medal of the Indian Medical Association in 1965 and the Dr Subodh Mitra Memorial Medal and Prize of Chittaranjan Cancer Hospital in 1972 and also received the GN Ramachandran Sixtieth Birthday Commemoration Medal of INSA in 1991.