In honor of International Women’s Day, XX in Health is featuring 10 inspiring ladies in the history of healthcare and medicine. From a Nobel-prize winning chemist who discovered the structure of penicillin to the founder of Planned Parenthood, these healthcare rockstars helped set the stage for disruption then, and now.
was not only a Navy rear admiral but also one of the first computer programmers. She drove the transition from crude programming techniques to the use of novel compilers.
a top-notch chemist, was responsible for discovery of over 45 treatments to aid the immune system in fighting cancer, organ transplant, and other diseases. She advanced the development of the drug Perinethol, which became the
first effective treatment for leukemia.
was a Nobel Prize winning chemist whose research led to the discoveries of penicillin, and later insulin.
is an AIDS researcher who has devoted her life to providing services and treatments to underserved populations. She is now director of the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs, where she has given access to services to almost one million HIV patients.
revolutionized speculation about the cause of breast cancer by pointing out underlying genetic causes. Her research on chromosome 17 led to the discovery of BRCA-1’s role in breast cancer.
is considered the founder of modern nursing. She established her own nursing school where she outlined the guidelines for nursing, from sanitation to management, which are still upheld today.
was a polish physicist and chemist. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and first person to win two Nobel Prizes! People know her best for her theory and research on radioactivity.
the first female professor at Columbia, developed a game-changing test to assess a newborn’s health, which was later named “the Apgar score” in her honor.
devoted her life to caring, and fighting, for the reproductive rights of women. She helped launch the first FDA-approved oral contraceptive and founded the organization that we now know as Planned Parenthood.
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