After early education at the Government Inter College, Etawah, Umesh Chandra Chaturvedi joined KG Medical College, Lucknow in 1956 and graduated in 1961. He was awarded MD in Pathology and Bacteriology from the same Institute. Chaturvedi was mentored by Dr T Ramchandra Rao of the Virus Research Centre, Pune as Senior Research Fellow of ICMR, by Dr TH Flewett and Professor P Wildy of Birmingham, UK as a Senior Medical Commonwealth Fellow and by Professor F Lehmann-grube, Hamburg, Germany as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow. He retired as Head of the Department of Microbiology, KG Medical College, Lucknow in 1999 and joined Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow as CSIR Emeritus Scientist and then was the Chairman of Bharat Immunological and Biological Company Ltd under the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.
Academic and Research Achievements: Chaturvedi taught medical microbiology, virology and immunology to undergraduate and postgraduate students at the KG Medical College, Lucknow and the undergraduate students at the Faculty of Medicine, Health Sciences Centre, Kuwait University, Kuwait. He has actively used experimental animal models to study the pathogenesis of diseases and then translated them in human clinical presentations, such as immunological cardiac injury, dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) and chromium toxicity. He showed that T lymphocytes are responsible for damage to the heart tissues resulting in the post-myocardial infarction and the post-pericardiotomy syndromes. For a long period he avidly pursued the problems in understanding the pathogenesis of DHF. He found that Suppressor T cells develop for a microbe (dengue virus) and went ahead to show that T helper cell-type 2-cytokine response is responsible for severe dengue disease and gave the name of 'Cytokine Tsunami' to it. Chaturvedi has proposed that dengue virus-infected macrophages induce CD4+ T cells to produce cytotoxic factor (CF), which induces macrophages to produce free radicals, nitrite, reactive oxygen and peroxynitrite. His work on the process of development of DHF in the body, points CF to be the key player, but its activity is regulated by CF-autoantibodies that are produced during dengue virus infection. He helped in developing an in vitro model of preliminary testing of metal toxicity. He also showed that pretreatment with chromium picolinate, a nutritional supplement, abrogates the dengue virus induced thrombocytopoenia. He has mentored 40 MD and 28 PhD students, and published about 255 articles.
Other Contributions: He was President, Indian Association of Pathologists and Microbiologists (1988); Secretary, Indian Association of Medical Microbiologists (1983-85); Council Member, Indian Immunology Society (1992-94); Representative of India to the General Assembly of the International Federation of Tropical Medicine (1984-85); and also member of Scientific Advisory Boards and committees of several organizations like ICMR, DST, DBT, CSIR, National Institute of Virology, etc. He has served as a member of the Editorial Boards of Journals including Indian Journal of Medical Research and African Journal of Clinical and Experimental Immunology and acted as a reviewer for a number of Journals.
Awards and Honours: Professor Chaturvedi received the Shakuntala Amirchand Prize by ICMR (1969), JB Srivastava Award by ICMR (1979) and SS Bhatnagar Prize (1981). He was also honoured with BK Aikat Oration Award by Indian Association of Pathologists and Microbiologists (1989), Best Teacher Award of KG Medical College (1989), National Institute of Immunology Senior Scientist Award (1990), OP Bhasin Award (1991) and TS Tirumurti Award by INSA (2007). He was the Fellow of National Academy of Medical Sciences (India) (1983), Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1985), Royal College of Pathologist, London (1986), National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (1987) and American Academy of Microbiologists (1988).