Dilip Kumar Banerjee obtained his DSc degree (1941) from the University of Calcutta. His specialization was in natural products chemistry. He was Professor, College of Engineering Technology, Jadavpur; Head, Department of Organic Chemistry, and Director, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Academic and Research Achievements: Banerjee's main research contributions were in organic synthetic and reaction mechanisms. His significant achievements in these areas were: synthesis of aloe-emodin, the active principle of aloes, rhubarb, etc.; the first ever stereospecific synthesis of a natural steroid, equilenin, the female sex hormone; development of novel benzohydrindane approaches and other new methods for the synthesis of steroids leading to two other stereospecific syntheses of equilenanes; the first stereospecific synthesis of the female sex hormone estrone; the fist conversion of an equilenane to the estrane; synthesis of estrone and its isomers, of the male sex hormone testosterone, of 8-isotestoterone, 9,11-dehydrotestosterone (a precursor of cortisone), of urinary steroids, anthrasteroids and numerous analogues of steroids; total synthesis of sesquiterpenes and important degradation products of diterpenes; reaction mechanism of Dieckmann cyclization; a novel dehydrogenation-addtion reaction involving abietic acid and tetrachloroo-benzoquinone; X-ray crystallographic studies of isomers of testosterone and 19-nortestosterone to correlate their conformations with their optical rotatory dispersion curves and physiological activities.
Other Contributions: Banerjee served as an Honorary Editor of Journal of Indian Chemical Society.
Awards and Honours: Banerjee was conferred upon Professor K Venkataraman Endowment Lectureship by University of Bombay (1968); and Sir PC Ray Lecture Award by Indian Chemical Society (1971); Woodburn Gold Medal; Sir JC Ghosh Gold Medal; Sir PC Ray Bronze Medal; and TR Seshadri 70th Birthday Commemoration Medal of INSA (1985). He was a Member of Indian Chemical Society (sometime President); American Chemical Society; Society of Biological Chemists, India (sometime President); Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science; Alpha Chi Sigma (Honorary); Sigma Xi (Member at Large), and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.