COVID-19: IIT Bombay loses professor of biosciences, bio-engineering

Rinti Banerjee, former head of biosciences, bio-engineering at IIT Bombay died on July 8 due to post-COVID complications. She had been hospitalised for six weeks.

COVID-19: IIT Bombay loses professor of biosciences, bio-engineering Rinti Banerjee dies of COVID-19 complications. Loss for IIT Bombay and biomedical engineering
Pritha Roy Choudhury | Jul 10, 2021 - 10:46 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay’s professor and researcher, Rinti Banerjee died on Thursday due to post-COVID-19 complications. She earlier headed the biosciences and bio-engineering department.

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“It is with deep sadness we announce that our colleague Prof. Rinti Banerjee passed away this morning. Rinti was an outstanding researcher and teacher, who also served as head of our department,” said a post from the department of biosciences and bio-engineering, IIT Bombay, on social media.

The IIT system has already lost several academics to COVID-19 in the brutal second wave of the pandemic. Dinesh Mohan, an emeritus professor at IIT Delhi died in May; its dean infrastructure, KC Iyer, succumbed to the coronavirus infection a few weeks later, in June.

Loss for IIT Bombay and biosciences

“She was a great scholar, a great researcher and a teacher. She herself did a lot of research on the pandemic and filed several patents and licensed some of her research output to companies. She was a wonderful colleague [whom] we will miss for the rest of our lives. It is not only a great loss for IIT Bombay, it is also a big loss to the nation. It was simply too early for someone to go”, said Subhasis Chaudhuri in a social media post.

Banerjee, in her late 40s, was hospitalised for six weeks with COVID-19.

“This is indeed shocking and a big loss. I find it unbelievable. She was a great researcher and always full of energy. It is tragic that she lost her battle with Covid”, said Abhay Karandikar, director IIT Kanpur.

“Just shocking for all of us. This is so sad for all the IITB community and for our BSBE IITB colleagues. Can’t believe that Rinti is no more. She inspired many scientists and was a super successful biomedical researcher”, said Samir K Maji, professor, IIT Bombay.

Pramesh CS, thoracic surgeon, director, Tata Memorial hospital, said: “Devastating to hear this. Rinti was such a wonderful human being. Always smiling. Great loss not just to IIT Bombay and BSBE IITB but to the entire field of biomedical research in India. Her memory will live on with many of us.”

Banerjee had completed her MBBS at BJ Medical College Pune. She completed her PhD in biomedical engineering at IIT Bombay and postdoctoral studies at the University of California, San Francisco.

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