The Monthly Scientist: Miss December

Hello and welcome to the last monthly scientist! It’s been by far and away my favourite series to write this year and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them.

Gertrude Elion

elion_postcard

Born: 23 January 1918

Died: 21 February 1999

Noted for: Research into pharmaceuticals in the treatment of cancer.

Why scientist of the month?

Elion was born in New York City to immigrant parents. She was motivated by her grandfathers death from Cancer into the world of biochemistry. Although she struggled to find work as many companies would not hire women as chemists. She then went back to New York University and obtained her degree and masters. She was hired by GlaxoSmithKline and inspired another scientist Dr Hitchings. Elion and her team developed drugs to combat leukemia, herpes and AIDS. They also discovered treatments to reduce the body’s rejection of foreign tissue in kidney transplants between unrelated donors. In all, Elion developed 45 patents in medicine and was awarded 23 honorary degrees. Her work in the development in medicine is undoubtedly something that I am thankful for.

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

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