Joyce JacobsonKaufman

Joyce Jacobson Kaufman’s groundbreaking work in chemistry and physics led to major advancements for the designs of compounds ranging from pharmacological drugs to rocket fuel. Inspired by her childhood hero, Marie Curie, Kaufman earned a BS from Johns Hopkins as a special student (due to the university’s policy of not admitting women) in 1949. She worked as a librarian and a research chemist at the Army Chemical Center before earning her PhD from Johns Hopkins in 1960. Two years later she moved to Paris with her mother and her daughter, Jan, to serve as visiting scientist at the Sorbonne. In 1969 she returned to Johns Hopkins as principal research scientist and as a professor of anesthesiology, becoming professor of plastic surgery in 1976. She edited several journals in her field, from Molecular Pharmacology and the Journal of Computational Chemistry to the Journal of Explosives. Over the course of her career, she created vital predictive computer models for toxicology, drug reactions, and carcinogens. France named her a dame chevalier in 1969 and the American Chemical Society honored her with the Garvan Medical Award in 1973, among her many honors.

More on Joyce Jacobson Kaufman


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Joyce Jacobson Kaufman at work.
Courtesy of Jan Kaufman.
Date of Birth

Bronx, NY
United States

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Joyce Jacobson Kaufman." (Viewed on April 10, 2021) <>.


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