Sir Sahib Singh Sokhey received MD (1925) from University of Edinburgh, UK. He worked as Director, Haffkine Institute, Mumbai; Assistant Director General, Technical Service WHO; and CSIR Emeritus Scientist (1965).
Academic and Research Achievements: Sokhey studied the epidemiology of plague; produced tetanus, diphtheria toxoids and the polyvalent antivenin; and produced sulphathiazole and carried out research in synthetic drugs, e.g. paludrine, the antimalarial drug. He installed the first molecular distillation unit in the country to separate vitamin A from shark liver oil. Great improvements made in the manufacture of plague and cholera vaccines owe much to Sokhey’s efforts. He determined the average normal standards of Indian man and woman from the chemical analysis of blood, non-protein nitrogen, urine, uric acid, creatine, phosphate and other metabolic products. He also produced superior qualities of plague vaccine with no toxic reaction.
Other Contributions: Sokhey was closely associated with CSIR in building up its chain of national laboratories, especially NPL and NCL, as well on CSIR’s research committees like Pharmaceuticals and Drugs Committees, and also served WHO on its Biological Research Committee. He served the CSIR Scientific Workers Association (sometime President) and Indian Peace Council. He played a key role in the setting up of Hindustan Antibiotics at Pimpri and Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. He was Member of the INSA Council (1935-38, 1946-47).
Awards and Honours: Dr Sokhey was conferred numerous awards, notably: Knighted (1946); Honorary Major-General; and Lenin Peace Prize (1947). He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences and also Vice President, INSA (1948-49). He was President, Medical Section, Indian Science Congress (1935).