Indira Nath

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Indira Nath
Born (1938-01-14) January 14, 1938 (age 79)
Residence New Delhi, India
Nationality Indian
Citizenship India
Known for Immunology research, Leprosy eradication in India

Padma Shri,

L'Oreal-UNESCO award for Women in Science
Scientific career
Fields Immunology
Institutions All India Institute of Medical Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, India

Indira Nath (born 14 January 1938) is an Indian immunologist. Her major contribution in medical science deals with mechanisms underlying immune unresponsiveness in man, reactions and nerve damage in leprosy and a search for markers for viability of the Leprosy bacillus. Prof. Nath's fields of specialisations are Immunology, Pathology, Medical biotechnology and communicable diseases.[1][2]


Nath received her MBBS from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. She joined AIIMS as MD (pathology) after mandatory hospital training in the UK. During the 1970s, India has the world's largest number of leprosy patients in the world of 4.5 million.[3]

In 1970 Nath was in the UK with a Nuffield Fellowship. During this period she came to specialize in immunology. She worked in the area of infectious diseases, particularly leprosy, with Professor John Turk at the Royal College of Surgeons and Dr RJW Rees at the National Institute for Medical Research, London.

After coming back to India, she joined Professor Gursaran Talwar's Department of Biochemistry at AIIMS, which had just initiated immunology research in India. Later in 1980 she moved to the Department of Pathology and she founded and established Department Biotechnology (1986) at AIIMS. She retired in 1998 but continued to work at AIIMS as INSA-SN Bose Research Professor.

She received DSc from Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris in the 2002. She was invited for the post of Dean of AIMST University in Malaysia and also as Director of Blue Peter Research Centre (Lepra Research Centre), Hyderabad.


Her research is focused on the cellular immune responses in human leprosy. She has over 120 publications, invited reviews, opinion/comments on recent developments in international journals. Her discovery and her pioneering work are a significant step towards the development of treatment and vaccines for leprosy.


Year of award or honour Name of award or honour Awarding organisation
2003 Silver Banner Tuscanny, Italy
2003 Chevalier Ordre National du Merite Government of France
2002 Women in Science (Asia Pacific)award L'Oreal UNESCO
1999 Padmashri[4] Government of India
1995 RD Birla Award
1995 Cochrane Research Award UK Government
1994 Basanti Devi Amir Chand Award ICMR
1990 Om Prakash Bhasin Award
1988 Clayton Memorial Lecture Award
1987 1st Nitya Anand Endowment Lecture Award INSA
1984 Kshanika Award ICMR
1983 Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Award Government of India
1981 JALMA Trust Oration ICMR


She was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India, Allahabad (1988), Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1990),[5] Indian National Science Academy (INSA; 1992),[6] National Academy of Medical Sciences[7] (India) (1992), Royal College of Pathology (1992) and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) (1995). She was Member, Scientific Advisory Committee to Cabinet, Foreign Secretary INSA (1995–97), Council Member (1992–94, 1998-2006) and Vice President (2001–03) of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, and Chairperson, Women Scientists Programme, Department of Science and technology, India (2003).

She was awarded the Padma Shri by Government of India in 1999,[8] and L'Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science in 2002.[9]


  1. ^ "Indian Fellow". Indian National Science Academy. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Simply a class apart". The Hindu. Mar 17, 2002. Retrieved March 11, 2013. 
  3. ^ "FAT". Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 15, 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Fellow Profile". Indian Academy of Sciences. 
  6. ^ The Year Book 2014 // Indian National Science Academy, New Delhi
  7. ^ "List of Fellows - NAMS" (PDF). National Academy of Medical Sciences. 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2009)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 10, 2013. 
  9. ^ Philanthropy: Award & Fellowships, 2002 Archived 2013-03-02 at the Wayback Machine. L'Oréal.