Gertrude Belle Elion
Research Scientist in Chemistry (1918-1999)
Gertrude was inspired to study chemistry when her grandfather died of cancer and she wanted to help research this disease. She found research work fun, and she loved her job so much she did not want to give it up to get a doctorate. Gertrude wrote more than 280 papers on her discoveries about drugs, and discovered or developed drugs that help fight leukemia, herpes, malaria, AIDS, and aid organ transplants. Gertrude and Dr. George Hitchings won the Nobel Prize in medicine for their work in developing drugs. When Gertrude was 73, she was invited into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the first woman. There are more than 45 patents for drugs that Gertrude developed.
Link: Biographical Memoirs - Gertrude Elion
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Information adapted from History of Women in Science for Young People by Vivian Sheldon Epstein.