Archana Sharma obtained DSc (1960) from University of Calcutta. She remained Professor of Genetics, Centre of Advanced Study in Cell and Chromosome Research, Department of Botany, University of Calcutta, Kolkata.
Academic and Research Achievements: Archana Sharma had deep interest in the areas: cytogenetics, human genetics, and environmental mutagenesis. She developed new techniques for studying chromosome structure, applied throughout the world, and deduced evidences of a new concept of speciation in vegetatively reproducing plants. Her other studies related to induction of division in adult nuclei and cause of polyteny in differentiated tissue in plants; cytotaxonomic investigation on flowering plants; assessment of chromosomal and genetical polymorphism in normal human population in eastern India and their comparison with pathological conditions; differentiation patterns in human fibroblasts in relation to polyteny as a factor in ageing; genetic polymorphisms in relation to environmental agents on living systems; clastogenic and mutagenic effects of various pesticides and metals on multiple test systems; assessment of genotoxic and clastogenic activity of environmental agents in subtoxic doses in exposed populations in relation to different modifying factors like diet, genetic predisposition, drugs, etc; and use of dietary factors and plant products in modulating the cytotoxicity of known pollutants — metals and pesticides. She authored eight books including: Chromosome Techniques — Theory and Practice; The Chromosomes; and Methods in Human Genetics.
Other Contributions: Archana Sharma served as Member of the Science and Engineering Research Council; Environmental Research Council; Union Ministry of Environment; Panel for Cooperation with Unesco; Department of Education; various technical committees of UGC, DST, DBT and other bodies; International Academy of Science, Germany (1990); and also the INSA Council (1980-82). She edited 15 books; was Co-editor of Nucleus; and served on the Editorial boards of Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy and many other journals.
Awards and Honours: Professor Archana Sharma won the SS Bhatnagar Prize (1976); JC Bose Award by UGC (1974); UGC National Lecturer (1980); FICCI Award (1983); Birbal Sahni Medal by Indian Botanical Society (1984); Padma Bhusan (1984); and Platinum Jubilee Lecture Award by Indian Science Congress (1989). She was President of the Indian Science Congress (1986-89), and was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore; National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; and Indian Botanical Society (President 1989).