Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine

Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine (CSTM) established in 1921 in Calcutta. Its establishment, the results of a government initiative as well as private efforts, was an important landmark in the development of research in tropical medicine in Bengal. The person who took a leading role in the creation of CSTM was Leonard Rogers (1868-1962) of the Indian Medical Service, professor of pathology at the Calcutta Medical College.

The student admission to the school started from 1921. It began offering postgraduate diploma in tropical medicine for the first time. Between 1921 and 1935, the following Europeans served as directors: JWD Megaw (1921-1928); HW Acton (1928-1933); and R Knowles (1933-1935). The first Indian director was Sir RN Chopra (1935-1941). After Chopra, LE Napier became the director of CSTM. He was followed in 1943 by another Indian, and the first non-Indian Medical Service director, Birajmohan Dasgupta.

Dasgupta had joined the school in 1921 as co-professor in the Department of Protozoology. He made valuable original contributions to Protozoology, including the discovery of the Leptospirosis, a disease which mostly attacks labourers in mines. Jyotibhusan Chottopadhyay, another famous Indian researcher joined the Haematology Department of the school in 1944 as Research Officer of the Indian Council of Medical Research. Thus although originating as an imperial institute, CSTM soon became an important centre for research for Bengal scientists who were able to make valuable contributions to their respective fields of research and study. [Sujata Mukherjee]