Biologist and cytogeneticist *Nettie Stevens (1861-1912) discovered that X and Y chromosomes were responsible for sex determination.
Pathologist Maud Slye (1879-1954) believed in the hereditary transmission of cancer before it was scientifically accepted. She is credited with developing genetically uniform mice to aid in research.
Microbiologist and physician Gladys Dick (1881-1963) co-discovered the microbe that causes scarlet fever and co-patented the Dick test to determine an individual’s susceptibility to the disease.
Microbiologist *Alice Evans (1881-1975) discovered the bacterium responsible for undulant fever; this led to the pasteurization of all milk.
Elizabeth Lee Hazen (1885-1975) and Rachel Fuller Brown (1898-1980) developed the first antifungal antibiotic which they named nystatin. All proceeds were invested in the Research Corporation to fund medical research.
Physician and pathologist Louise Pearce (1885-1959) conducted research, and the human trials in Africa, that led to a cure for African sleeping sickness.
The first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in the sciences *Gerty Cori’s (1896-1957) work involved studying the mechanism by which the body processes food (the Cori cycle) leading to treatments for diabetes and other diseases.
*Florence Seibert (1897-1991) developed the tuberculin test that is still the standard today.
The founder of pediatric cardiology *Helen Brooke Taussig (1898-1986) discovered the cause of “blue babies”. Today, the Blalock-Taussig shunt fixes the condition.
Bacteriologist and pediatrician Hattie Alexander (1901-1968) developed the first effective treatment for the once-fatal influenza meningitis.
Pediatric anesthesiologist *Virginia Apgar (1909-1974) developed a 10-point score to assess the health of newborns. It is administered worldwide at one minute and five minutes after birth.
Biochemist *Gertrude Elion (1918-1999) received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her pioneering processes of drug development. Her immuno-suppressant drug enables organ transplants.
Judith Graham Pool (1919-1975) identified Factor VIII, the clotting factor in human blood plasma and developed a way to manufacture it, allowing hemophiliacs to live life more fully.
Chemist and x-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin’s (1920-1958) work led to greater understanding of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal and graphite. She probably discovered the double helix structure of DNA.
*Rosalyn Yalow (1921-2011) received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her work in developing radioimmunoassay, a technique that uses radioactive isotopes to measure small amounts of biological substances.
Chemist *Helen Murray Free (1923- ) developed a number of self-testing systems for diabetes including Clinistix, the dip and read test.
A pioneering African-American ophthalmologist Patricia Bath (1942- ) invented the Laserphaco Probe, a device that improves on lasers to remove cataracts and cataract lenses.
Molecular biologist Flossie Wong-Staal (1947- ) was the first person to clone the HIV virus, a major research advancement in the treatment of AIDS.
Jill S. Tietjen, P.E., co-author of Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. www.herstoryatimeline.com
* Indicates an Inductee into the National Women's Hall of Fame