b.17 August 1882 d.13 June 1973
Kt(1941) CIE(1934) MRCS LRCP(1907) MB BChir Cantab(1908) MD(1920) MRCP(1935) FRCP(1938)
Ram Nath Chopra was born at Gujranwala, Punjab, and was educated at the Government College, Lahore, Downing College, Cambridge, and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. He joined the Indian Medical Service in 1908.
After active service in the North-West Frontier Province and East Africa in the 1914-18 war, and in the Afghan war, he joined the School of Tropical Medicine in Calcutta in 1921, and was its director when he retired in 1941. He was President of the Indian Science Congress in 1947.
Chopra was a distinguished Indian pharmacologist and an authority on the control of drug manufacture. He published a vast amount of literature on his findings. He was the author, among others, of Anthelmintics (1928), Indigenous Drugs of India (1933) and A Handbook of Tropical Therapeutics (1934). While serving on the drugs inquiry committee he drew attention to the low standard of manufacture in India and to the extensive adulteration which he had found, and he pressed strongly for legislative action. The Drugs Act of 1940 generally followed the lines which he had recommended. He was an acknowledged authority on addiction and drew patients from all over the country to the attached Carmichael Hospital for tropical diseases, where he also worked as a consultant physician.
Chopra will be remembered for his unfailing courtesy and kindness, for his scholarship and rectitude, and for his personal consideration for everyone with whom he came into contact. He received many honours for his work but carried them with humility.
On retirement, Chopra continued his work in pharmacology in Kashmir to a very late age, working mainly in a laboratory in Jammu. He died peacefully in Srinagar, leaving a widow, three sons and two daughters.
Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
[Brit.med.J., 1973, 3, 547; Lancet, 1973, 2, 460]
(Volume VI, page 102)
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