Annamma Spudich Biography

Annamma Spudich

Annamma Spudich received her Ph.D. and pursued postdoctoral work in molecular cell biology at Stanford University, and then carried out cell biology research at Stanford for 25 years. She was also a visiting faculty in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, and a visiting scientist at Genentech. Eight years ago she left basic science research at Stanford University to devote her intellectual energies to her life long interest in the history of Indian scientific traditions in the natural sciences.

In 2003 Spudich was invited to curate an exhibit and organize a conference on the area of her interest at The Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University. The exhibit, “From Forreine Places All the Varietie of Herbes” and the conference “The Seeds of Culture” looked at the contribution of ethno-botany to modern science and was underwritten by the School of Medicine and the Department of Asian Religions and Cultures at Stanford. In 2008 she curated a ground breaking exhibit in Bangalore, at the National Center for Biological Sciences, on the influences of early Indian scientific knowledge in pre-modern Europe, titled “Such Treasure and Rich Merchandize: Indian Botanical Knowledge in 16th and 17th Century European Books.” The exhibit is now a permanent installation at the Regional Museum of Natural History in Mysore, India. Spudich is the author of several scientific papers and the catalog that accompanied the NCBS exhibit. Her current work is focused on the history and living traditions of Indian botanical-medical knowledge, and the impact of that knowledge on medicine and botany in the European and Pan Asian worlds in the Early Modern period. She is a scholar in residence at the National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.