Important women in the history of science and cancer research

The lack of female references in science remains a reality: only 28% of scientists in the world are women, according to Unesco.

Paradoxically, throughout the history of science, women have made numerous advances in the field of research. For this reason, on the occasion of the Day of Women and Girls in Science, we want to give visibility to some of these researchers and oncologists who have stood out for their contributions to the world of science and health . His biographies are, without a doubt, the best inspiration to awaken scientific vocations among the youngest.

Marie Curie

Maria Salomea Skłodowska-Curie (1867-1934) was a pioneering scientist in the study of radioactivity and discoverer of two elements (polonium and radium) . He was the first person to receive the Nobel Prize in two different categories (Physics and Chemistry). Under his direction, the first studies were carried out in the treatment of neoplasms with radioactive isotopes. ”

Jane Cooke

Jane Cooke Wright (1919-2013) was an oncologist and pioneer in cancer research. Thanks to it, chemotherapy became a viable treatment . It was also a pioneer in the use of tumor biopsy to measure the effectiveness of possible treatments.

Jimmie Holland

Jimmie C. Holland (1928-2017) was a psychiatrist considered the mother of psycho-oncology . He devoted himself to the care and study of the psychosocial aspects related to cancer. He launched the edition of the first psycho-oncology manual and founded the American Association for Psychosocial Oncology (APOS) and the International Association for Psycho-oncology (IPOS).

Elisabeth Blackburn

Elisabeth Helen Blackburn (1948) is a biochemist and Nobel Prize in Medicine. He discovered telomerase and its relationship to cancer cells and the appearance of tumors.

Gertrude Elion

Gertrude Belle Elion (1918-1999) was a biochemist and pharmacologist. He received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for key discoveries in the development of various treatments, including the first treatment for leukemia in 1950.

Margaret Salas

Margarita Salas Falguera (1939-2019) was a Spanish biochemist. She was a disciple of Severo Ochoa and the promoter of research in the field of molecular biology and biochemistry in Spain .

Dorothy Hodgkin

Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994) discovered the structure of penicillin, vitamin B12, and insulin. She won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1964) for her important contributions that helped save millions of lives. In addition, she invented techniques with which to use x-ray crystallography to map complex molecules.

Science for all to awaken scientific vocations

From the Spanish Association Against Cancer, we work through  Science for all  to promote scientific vocations among boys and girls. This year, on the occasion of this day, we joined with different actions in schools with the aim of promoting interest in science. For that, we have created some very special superheroines: ‘The super sciences’ . They will be the protagonists of our children’s workshops, where we will explain in a simple and fun way who these scientific women have been who have changed our lives with their inventions.


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