Premankur De took the degree of MB (1917) from University of Calcutta and MRCP (1928) from the University of Edinburgh, UK, with a specialization on pharmacology. He was Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, School of Tropical Medicine, Kolkata and the Professor of Physiology, Calcutta Medical College.
Academic and Research Achievements: De and his colleagues investigated the pharmacology and therapeutics of the indigenous drugs of India to find suitable and cheap substitutes for expensive and unaffordable imported drugs. De studied the pharmacology and therapeutics of several Indian drugs reputed to be useful in ayurvedic medicines. He showed that Boerhaavia diffusa (punarnava) is a diuretic, particularly in cases of oedema and kidney complaints, and that the oily principle from kuth (Saussurea lappa) roots is a good therapeutic agent in asthma. His investigations revealed that Sida cordifolia (bala) has a sympathomimetic alkaloid similar to ephedrine; and Moringa pterygosperma possesses mild cardiostimulant properties. The Indian digitales grown in Darjeeling district, he found, could be standardized and used in place of imported ones.
Awards and Honours: He was elected President of the Physiology Section, Indian Science Congress (1945).