Ram Nath Chopra

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Ram Nath Chopra
Ram Nath Chopra 1983 stamp of India.jpg
Born(1882-08-17)17 August 1882
Died13 June 1973(1973-06-13) (aged 90)
Known forFather of Indian Pharmacology; Doyen of science and medicine[1]
AwardsKnighthood (1941)
Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE; 1934)
Scientific career

Colonel Sir Ram Nath Chopra CIE, IMS (17 August 1882 – 13 June 1973) was an Indian Medical Service officer and a doyen of science and medicine of India. He is considered the "Father of Indian Pharmacology" for his work on pharmaceuticals and his quest for self-sufficiency of India in drugs. He was a pioneer of pharmacological research in India and took a special interest in indigenous drugs. After service in the army, he established a research laboratory where he worked as a professor of a pharmacology at the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine which was established in 1921.

Chopra was born in Gujranwala and his family came from the Jammu and Kashmir region. His father Raghu Nath was a government official. After school in Lahore he went to the Government College there and then went to England in 1903 and studied at the Downing College, Cambridge. In 1905 he qualified in the Natural Sciences Tripos and was admitted BA. He received a B.Chir. in 1908 and an MA in 1909. He worked briefly under Walter E. Dixon professor of the newly established position in pharmacology. While at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London, Chopra wrote the examination for the Indian Medical Service and stood third in it. Chopra was commissioned a lieutenant in the Indian Medical Service on 1 August 1908 and promoted to captain on 1 August 1911. He saw active service in East Africa and in the Afghan War of 1919.[2][3] He was promoted to the temporary rank of major on 7 May 1919 and confirmed in the substantive rank on 1 August 1920, (back-dated to 1 February 1920).[4][5] In 1922 he was appointed Professor of Pharmacology at the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine which had been established the year before. He took a special interest in indigenous drugs and noted that a key aim for India should be self-sufficiency in drug resources. He conducted pioneering studies on herbal remedies including Rauwolfia serpentina. He headed a Drugs Enquiry Committee of 1930–31 which examined the need for imports, control and legislation.[6]

He was invested as a Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE) in the 1934 New Year Honours list and knighted in the 1941 New Year Honours list.[7][8][9][10]


  • Anthelmintics and their Uses in Medical and Veterinary Practice. The Williams & Wilkins Company. 1928.
  • Chopra's Indigenous Drugs of India. Academic Publishers. 1958.


  1. ^ "Sir Colonel Ram Nath Chopra". Roja Rani. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  2. ^ "No. 28230". The London Gazette. 5 March 1909. p. 1761.
  3. ^ "No. 28547". The London Gazette. 3 November 1911. p. 7960.
  4. ^ "No. 32098". The London Gazette. 26 October 1920. p. 10308.
  5. ^ "No. 32757". The London Gazette. 20 October 1922. p. 7378.
  6. ^ Singh, Harkishan (2008). "Ram Nath Chopra (1882–1973) – A visionary in Pharmaceutical science" (PDF). Indian Journal of History of Science. 43 (2): 231–264.
  7. ^ "No. 34010". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 1933. p. 6.
  8. ^ "No. 35029". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1940. p. 2.
  9. ^ "RAMNATH CHOPRA". Indian Post office. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Sir Colonel Ram Nath Chopra". pharmainfo.net. Retrieved 24 May 2013.

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