Mahtab S Bamji after doing graduation in Chemistry and post-graduation in Biochemistry from Bombay University, obtained PhD in biochemistry (1961) from the same university while working at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. During 1962-65 she was in the USA as post-doctoral Fellow/Research Associate at Tufts University Boston and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. She joined the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad (1965) and served this Institute in various capacities till her retirement as Director Grade Scientist. After retirement (1994) she joined a NGO, Dangoria Charitable Trust as ICMR, Emeritus Medical Scientist, and continues to be associated with this organization. She is presently an INSA Honorary Scientist.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Bamji has made significant contributions in the field of nutritional biochemistry, particularly, towards the understanding of the aetiology of B vitamins deficiencies, development of tests for assessing vitamin nutrition status as well as for estimating the incidence of B-vitamins deficiency and its daily requirement in the community; understanding the biochemical/molecular basis of clinical manifestations of B vitamins deficiencies; interactions between nutrition and drugs such as contraceptive steroids, and identification of Carnitine as a vitamin. She has published 100 papers, written several book chapters, reviews, popular articles and reports and edited a very popular textbook on human nutrition. Bamji has guided 10 students.
Other Contributions: Since her retirement, Bamji has been trying to evolve models for improving health, food, and nutrition and environment security in villages of Medak district, Telangana(TS), through scientific and technological interventions. A food processing-cum-training centre has been established to prevent wastage of farm produce for nutrition security and women's livelihood. She takes keen interest in popularization of science through organisations such as Indian Women Scientists Association and Jana Vignana Vedika. She co-chaired the Health Panel for Vision 2020, TIFAC Report; was a Member of Planning Commission 10th and 11th plan working groups and Steering Committee for Science and Technology 11th plan; she chaired the DST and DBT committees on Sciences & Technology for Women; chaired the INSA Committee on Science Career for Indian Women and was the Chairperson of the National Task Force for Women in Science,2006-2009. She also served on the INSA Council (1993-95) and was the vicepresident 2009-2011.
Awards and Honours: Dr Bamji received 21 awards and honours that include: Patwardhan Prize (1973); BC Guha Memorial Lecture Award (1987) and Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Lecture (1998) of INSA; Srikantia Memorial Oration Award (1999); National Award for Woman Scientist (2000); CV Raman Medal of INSA (2005),Rajjamal Devdas Memorial award, (NSI,2010), Archana Sharma Memorial lecture (2012), Founders' lecture Indian Dietetcis association(2013), and KT Achaya Memorial lecture, OTA and CSIR, 2015. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Agriculture Sciences, New Delhi (1991); National Academy of Medical Sciences (1995) and Honorary Fellow of the AP Academy of Sciences (2003) and National Academy of Science-India.