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SHARADINI DAHANUKAR (1945-2002)


Sharadini Arun Dahanukar was a clinical pharmacologist and Ayurvedic researcher. She was born in Mumbai and excelled in school. She joined the Seth G.S. Medical College and graduated in medicine in 1969. She decided to specialize in clinical pharmacology and did an MD in it in the US, where she had accompanied her husband as he was a scholar there. In the US she met the children of Vaidya Veni Madhav Shastri Joshi, who told her about their father’s research into Ayruveda. She became intrigued by the idea of invesitgating the medical properties of Indian plants, and therefore took traditional Ayurvedic training for five years from Vaidya Joshi. She then did a Ph.D. on the properties of these plants and their applications in modern medicine, researching among other things the effects of Menispermum glabrum on haematopoiesis. In 1989 she set up the Ayurveda Research Centre at King Edward Memorial hospital, then in 2001 the Advanced Centre for Ayurvedic Research, Training and Services (ACARTS) at BYL Nair Ch. Hospital. She was also Head of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and Dean at Topiwala National Medical College and BYL Nair Ch. Hospital. As a research guide she always insisted on impeccable documentation of findings. Besides her many research publications she wrote a number of popular books on Ayurveda, including Ayurveda Unravelled, Ayurveda Revisited, and Heal by Herbs (1995). She was also a prolific writer in Marathi. Seth G.S. Medical College has instituted awards in her memory for the best teacher and researcher. She received the Dr Vasant Pai Award for her contributions to medical knowledge, and was felicitated by the National Academy of Indian Medicine at Benares Hindu University. She also received the Mahila Gourav Puraskar and the Vanita Samaj Gourav Puraskar.
 
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