Indu Bhusan Chatterjee earned his BSc (Hons) in Chemistry (1950) and MSc in Applied Chemistry (1952) from Calcutta University, after which he started his research in the Department of Applied Chemistry under the supervision of Professor BC Guha. He carried out research on the biosynthesis of vitamin C in animals (1953- 1961) and was awarded the DSc degree of Calcutta University. He went to USA and continued post-doctoral research on vitamin C during 1961-64 in the laboratory of Professor Ralph W McKee at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Academic and Research Achievements: On returning to India, Chatterjee joined the Department of Biochemistry of Calcutta University as a lecturer (1964) and subsequently became Reader (1969) and Professor (1984). He kept on continuing his research on vitamin C. His research contributions include elucidation of the pathway of vitamin C in animals, relationship of the biosynthetic pathway with evolution, identification of genetic defect in man and other animals incapable of synthesizing vitamin C as well as biological function of the vitamin. At present he is studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cigarette smoke-induced tissue damage and prevention by vitamin C. Chatterjee isolated p-benzosemiquinone, a major hazardous long-lived radical responsible for tissue damage, from cigarette smoke and got an Indian patent, US patent and world patent on this and also another patent for devising a special filter for trapping the semiquinone. His recent research indicates that p-benzosemiquinone, after being converted to p-benzoquinone in the lungs, induces proliferation of lung cells (lung cancer?), COPD, alteration of structure and functon of serum albumin, alteration of structure and oxygen binding capacity of hemoglobin, cardiovascular disease as well as myelodysplastic syndromes. Vitamn C reduces and inactivates p-benzoquinone and thereby prevents all the smoke-relatd diseases. He has published about 99 research articles and mentored about 30 Ph.D. students.
Other Contributions: Chatterjee was Founder Co-ordinator and instrumental in establishing Dr BC Guha Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Calcutta University under the patronage of Dr (Mrs) Phulrenu Guha, where he is still continuing his teaching and research.
Awards and Honours: Professor Chatterjee was awarded Amulyaratan Prize of Calcutta University (1988), BC Guha Lecture Award from INSA (1996), Life Time Achievement Award in Biochemistry from Kalyani University (2003), Eminent Teacher Award of Calcutta University (2006), BC Guha Lecture Award from Indian Science News Association (2008) and Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray award from PULMOCON, India (2011). Ava Maity Meomorial Lecture Award,_Asiatic Society 2013(16) Barclay Medal, Asiatic Society, 2014.