Architect of India’s first and world’s second test tube baby

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Dr. Subhas Mukherjee is the unsung hero, who discovered the easiest and most successful way of producing a test tube baby. In fact, he was the first Asian to discover such a process but never got his recognition during his lifetime. However, in 2002, after 21 years of his death, ICMR (India Council of Medical Research) recognized his work for the first time.

Some of his remarkable achievements are:
    Used HMG for ovarian stimulation for IVF 
  First to use transvaginal approach for ovum pick up 
    First to cyropreserve human embryos 
  First to transfer embryo in a subsequent untreated cycle

Mukherjee along with Sunit Mukherji, a cryobiologist, and Gynecologist Dr. Saroj Kanti Bhattacharya, worked on a method of in-vitro fertilization that was used successfully on patient with damaged fallopian tubes. On 3rd October 1978, the team announced the birth of the world's second test tube baby, in Calcutta. The announcement came 67 days after the birth of the first test-tube baby in England. Unlike his counterparts in England, Mukherjee had used gonadotropins for ovarian stimulation, transvaginal colpotomy to harvest oocytes and cryopreservation of the human embryo. 

To verify his claims, the Government set up a committee that denounced his achievements. Mukherjee was denied leave to write up a detailed report of his results and later to attend a meeting in Japan to discuss his work. As a final act of humiliation, he was transferred to Institute of Ophthalmology as professor of electrophysiology. The insult may have been unbearable for Dr. Mukherjee as he committed suicide in 1981.

In 1997 Mukherjee's papers and handwritten notes on his technique were assessed by T. C. Anand Kumar - former Director of the Institute of Research in Reproduction, Mumbai. Dr. Kumar, who had played a key role in the birth of another test-tube baby in 1986, not only freed Dr. Mukherjee from charges of fraud but also wrote extensively about his pioneering feat. Mukherjee’s method of combining in-vitro fertilization and cryopreservation of human embryos is the currently preferred technique of medically assisted reproduction. Today, more than 3 million test tube babies worldwide see the lights of day from Dr. Subhas Mukherjee's discovered method.

Dr. Subhas Mukherjee is still respected and remembered as someone who invented the most efficient process for the birth of test tube babies. In Sao Paulo, during the eve of 30 years completion of IVF, Brazilian Medical Society recognized and honored him for his incredible achievements. 


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