Women Pioneers of Medical Research

Biographies of 25 Outstanding Scientists


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About the Book

While most laymen could recognize Florence Nightingale as the founder of modern nursing, it’s doubtful they could likewise identify Louise Pearce as one of the primary researchers in the cure for African Sleeping Sickness or Anna W. Williams as the discoverer of the diphtheria antitoxin. This book profiles 25 women who have made significant contributions to medical research, including Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Lydia Folger Fowler, Virginia Apgar, and Rosalind Franklin, among others. Each profile includes a general introduction and covers the woman’s childhood or family background, her formal education, her most valuable contributions to the field, and the important events or persons which influenced her life and career.

About the Author(s)

The late King-Thom Chung was a professor of microbiology and molecular toxicology at the University of Memphis for many years. He pioneered research on azo dyes–induced cancer, and his work on genotoxicology of aromatic amines metabolically produced from azo dyes received world recognition.

Bibliographic Details

King-Thom Chung
Foreword by Hubert A. Lechevalier

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: appendix, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2927-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5817-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Foreword by Hubert A. Lechevalier      1
Preface      5

1—Mary Wortley Montagu (1689–1762)
Promoter of Inoculation Against Smallpox      9
2—Florence Nightingale (1820–1910)
Founder of Modern Nursing      16
3—Elizabeth Blackwell (1821–1910)
Champion of Medical Education for Women      24
4—Lydia Folger Fowler (1822–1879)
First American Woman to Receive a Medical Degree      33
5—Marie Elizabeth Zakrzewska (1829–1902)
Pioneering German-Born Physician      37
6—Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836–1917)
Pioneering British Physician      43
7—Anna W. Williams (1863–1954)
Developer of Diphtheria Antitoxin and of a Method for Quickly Diagnosing Rabies      48
8—Madame Marie Sklodowska Curie (1867–1934)
Discoverer of Medically Important Radium      52
9—Sara Josephine Baker (1873–1945)
Physician and Pioneer Public Health Worker      68
10—Alice Catherine Evans (1881–1975)
Researcher in Bacteriology and Promoter of Pasteurization of Milk      75
11—Louise Pearce (1885–1959)
Leader in Research on Both African Sleeping Sickness and Syphilis      81
12—Elizabeth “Lee” Hazen (1885–1975)
Discoverer of Medically Useful Antifungal Antibiotics      88
13—Sara Elizabeth Branham (1888–1962)
Pioneer in Meningitis Studies      96
14—Rebecca Craighill Lancefield (1895–1981)
Researcher of Streptococci Classification and Infections      102
15—Gerty Theresa Radnitz Cori (1896–1957)
Researcher in Sugar Metabolism and Glycogen Storage Disorders      108
16—Rachel Fuller Brown (1898–1980)
Co-Discoverer of the Antifungal Antibiotic Nystatin      116
17—Margaret Pittman (1901–1995)
Pioneer in Standardization of Biological Products and Studies of Whooping Cough      123
18—Virginia Apgar (1909–1974)
Pioneer Anesthetist and Developer of the Apgar Score for Newborn Health      132
19—Gladys Lounsbury Hobby (1910–1993)
Leader in the Study of Antibiotics and Anti-Tuberculosis Drugs      139
20—Gertrude Belle Elion (1918–1999)
Innovative Drug Developer      144
21—Jane C. Wright (1919[?]– )
Pioneer of Cancer Chemotherapy      153
22—Rosalind Elsie Franklin (1920–1958)
Crucial Figure in Determining the Double Helix Structure of DNA      159
23—Rosalyn Sussman Yalow (1921– )
Co-Developer of Radioimmunoassay Procedure      169
24—Jewel Plummer Cobb (1924– )
Renowned Cancer Researcher and University Administrator      179
25—Alice Shih-Hou Huang (1939– )
Eminent Molecular Biologist, Educator, and Leader      184

Appendix: Important Persons Mentioned in the Text      191
Index      205

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Among reference works about women and science, this one is unique in its specific emphasis on women’s contribution to medical research…recommend”—Feminist Collections