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Chemistry

Mildred Cohn

Biochemist Mildred Cohn used new technology to measure organic reactions in living cells.

May Brodbeck

May Brodbeck’s career in the sciences ran the gamut from teaching high school chemistry to exploring fundamental philosophical questions about the nature of human consciousness.

Elsa Neumann

Elsa Neumann earned a doctorate in physics from the University of Berlin in 1899, nine years before women were officially allowed to study there, becoming the university’s first woman graduate.

Gerty Theresa Cori

Gerty Cori’s work on carbohydrate metabolism, which changed our understanding of diabetes and other diseases, earned her the Nobel Prize for Medicine, making her the first American woman and third woman ever given the honor.

Gertrude Elion inducted into the Jewish-American Hall of Fame

JWA Woman of Valor Gertrude Elion has been chosen as the 2011 honoree to be inducted into the Jewish-American Hall of Fame. Dr. Gertrude Elion joins nine women previously inducted into the Jewish-American Hall of Fame: Henrietta Szold (1976), Golda Meir (1978), Rebecca Gratz (1981), Emma Lazarus (1983), Ernestine Rose (1984), Barbra Streisand (1997), Ida Straus (1998), Bess Myerson (2001), and Lillian Wald (2007). Biographies of all the honorees can be found here.

Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, 1921 - 2011

A Jewish woman whose father-in-law is a rabbi, who keeps a kosher home, who invites her lab assistants to Passover seders, and worries about them catching colds is not the typical image of a Nobel Prize winner. But it is the image of Rosalyn Yalow, the first woman born and educated in the United States to win a Nobel Prize in a scientific field.

Mildred Cohn, 1913 - 2009

Mildred Cohn's scientific career could perhaps be described as a series of silver linings. She displayed a tremendous intellectual talent in her early years—having completed her undergraduate degree in chemistry at Hunter College (then a women's school) before the age of 18, designing a model of a combustion engine by 21, and obtaining a PhD under legendary chemist and Nobel laureate Harold Urey by 24—that today would make her the pick of the scientific litter.

Rosalyn Yalow

Rosalyn Yalow had two strikes against her in her effort to become a physicist: She was a Jew and a woman. She persevered, and not only earned a career in science and many awards—including a Nobel Prize—but changed the medical world with the introduction of radioimmunoassay.

Frances Stern

Frances Stern’s experience as a second-generation American Jew dedicated to social reform, interested in education, and having the good fortune to come into contact with several prominent women engaged in various aspects of social work led her to a career in scientific nutrition, applied dietetics, and home economics.

Elga Ruth Wasserman

Herself a recipient of a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard in 1949 and a J.D. from Yale in 1976, chemist Elga Wasserman is best known for overseeing the entrance of the first coeducational class at Yale College in 1969.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Chemistry." (Viewed on September 16, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/chemistry>.

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