International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Dr D K Dastur

    Status Physician
    Country India


    D. K. Dastur (6 February 1924-) was an Indian neuropathologist known for his contributions to the understanding of nerve changes in leprosy.

    Dastur attained a Bachelor of Science from Wilson College at Bombay (now Mumbai) University in 1944, majoring in zoology. He then conducted postgraduate clinical research at Grant Medical College, earning his MBBS in 1949, and his MD in 1952.

    Early in Dastur’s career, he received funding from the Indian Council of Medical Research. From 1958 to 1962, he worked under Vasant Ramji Khanolkar in the neuropathology research unit of Tata Memorial Hospital, and it was Khanolkar who inspired Dastur’s interest in leprosy. Khanolkar advised Dastur to go to the Acworth Leprosy Hospital to further his research. From 1962 to 1964, Dastur headed the Neuropathology Unit of Jamshedjee Jeejeebhoy Hospital, Bombay, and was Professor of Neurology at Grant Medical College and Jamshedjee Jeejeebhoy Group of Hospitals from 1964 to 1981. In 1981, he became Director of the Department of Neuropathology and Applied Biology at Bombay Hospital.

    Throughout his career, Dastur researched the changes of nerves, skin, and muscle in leprosy over the next four decades, and frequently published his results in medical journals. Outside of leprosy, he made research contributions to several other fields, including the pathology of brain tumours, tuberculosis, muscle disorders, developmental disorders, and malnutrition.

    Dastur worked with many eminent leprologists, including C.G.S. Iyer, N.H. Antia, and Robert Cochrane. With Antia, he organised the Bombay University Symposium on Leprosy in 1965. He became a Founder Fellow of the Indian Academy of Neurosciences in 1986.


    D. K. Dastur, ‘An Autobiographical Sketch’ from The Indian Leprologists Look Back. Bombay, 1990, pp. 23-31.


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