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  • Famous Indian Scientists

    Yellapragada Subbarow

    Yellapragada Subbarow (12 January 1895 ? 9 August 1948) was an Indian biochemist who discovered the function of adenosine triphosphate as an energy source in the cell, and developed methotrexate for the treatment of cancer Most of his career was spent in the United States Despite his isolation of ATP, Subbarow was denied tenure at Harvard and remained without a green card throughout his life, though he would lead some of Americas most important medical research during World War IIHe was born to a Niyogi Telugu speaking brahmin family in Bhimavaram of the Old Madras Presidency, now in West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh He passed through a traumatic period in his schooling at Rajahmundry (due to the premature death of close relatives by disease) and eventually matriculated in his third attempt from the Hindu High School, Madras He passed the Intermediate Examination from the Presidency College and entered the Madras Medical College where his education was supported by friends and Kasturi Suryanarayana Murthy, whose daughter he later married Following Gandhis call to boycott British goods he started wearing khadi surgical dress; this incurred the displeasure of M C Bradfield, his surgery professor Consequently, though he did well in his written papers, he was awarded the lesser LMS certificate and not a full MBBS degree Subbarow tried to enter the Madras Medical Service without success He then took up a job as Lecturer in Anatomy at Dr Lakshmipathis Ayurvedic College at Madras He was fascinated by the healing powers of Ayurvedic medicines and began to engage in research to put Ayurveda on a modern footing A chance meeting with an American doctor, who was visiting on a Rockefeller Scholarship, changed his mind The promise of support from Malladi Satyalingam Naicker Charities in Kakinada, and financial assistance raised by his fatherinlaw, enabled Subbarow to proceed to the US He arrived in Boston on 26 October 1922

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