The Garvan Medal was Elion's first major award and she was thrilled to receive it. The Garvan Medal, however, was the only American Chemical Society prize for which she could compete: until 1980, women were ineligible for any other ACS awards.
GERTRUDE ELION HONORED BY AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY
Gertrude B. Elion, head of Experimental Therapy in our research laboratories, has won the American Chemical Society's $2000 Garvan Medal. The Garvan Medal was established in 1936 to recognize outstanding U.S. women chemists. The award will be presented to Miss Elion at the 155th national ACS meeting in San Francisco next April.
Most of Miss Elion's work has been in the field of chemotherapy. She is noted for her development of Company drugs for leukemia, tumors and gout. She has published more than 130 technical papers and has received numerous U.S. patents.
Born in New York City, Miss Elion received her A.B. degree summa cum laude from Hunter College in 1937 and her M.S. from New York University in 1941. She was a research assistant in organic chemistry with the Denver Chemical Manufacturing Company, New York, in 1938-39, and taught chemistry and physics in the secondary schools of New York City from 1940 to 1942. After working as a food analyst with the Quaker Maid Company in Brooklyn, she became a research assistant in organic synthesis with Johnson and Johnson in New Brunswick, N.J.
Miss Elion joined 'B.W. and Co.' in 1944 as a biochemist. She became senior research chemist in 1950, and assistant to Dr. Hitchings when he was appointed Associate Research Director in 1955 and Research Director of Chemotherapy in 1963. She assumed her present post this year.
A member of the American Chemical Society since 1945, Miss Elion was secretary of the Westchester Subsection of the Society's New York Section in 1960 and chairman of the subsection the following year. She has served as an alternate representative of the New York Section on the Society's national Council since 1964.
Miss Elion is also a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Chemical Society (London), the American Society of Biological Chemists, the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Hematology, and the honorary scholastic society Phi Beta Kappa. She is a fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, and was a consultant for the cancer chemotherapy section of the U.S. Public Health Service from 1960 to 1964.