Famous 20th Century Medical Scientists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Joseph Lister

Joseph Lister
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: April 5, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Upton House, West Ham, England
Died: February 10, 1912

British surgeon Joseph Lister was a pioneer of antiseptic medicine usage and made a huge contribution to the development of preventive medicine for bacterial infection. His achievements have been honored by many, such as the makers of Listerine antiseptic and mouthwash, who named their product after him.

 2 Harold E. Varmus

Harold E. Varmus
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: December 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oceanside, New York, United States

Harold E. Varmus is an American scientist who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with J. Michael Bishop for their discovery of the retroviral oncogenes' cellular origin. From 1993 to 1999, he served as the director of the National Institutes of Health. From 2010 to 2015, he served as the director of the National Cancer Institute.

 3 Cesar Milstein

Cesar Milstein
Famous As: Biochemist, Immunologist
Birthdate: October 8, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bahía Blanca, Argentina
Died: March 24, 2002

Cesar Milstein was an Argentine biochemist renowned for his work in antibody research. He is credited with developing the Hybridoma technology, a method to produce identical antibodies in large numbers, for which he was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1984. He also received several other awards, including the Copley Medal in 1989.

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 4 Daniel Vasella

Daniel Vasella
Famous As: Swiss medical doctor
Birthdate: August 15, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fribourg, Switzerland

 5 Baruj Benacerraf

Baruj Benacerraf
Famous As: Immunologist
Birthdate: October 29, 1920
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Caracas, Venezuela
Died: August 2, 2011

Baruj Benacerraf was a Venezuelan-American immunologist whose discovery of the MHC genes earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1980; he shared the prize with George Davis Snell and Jean Dausset. Over the course of his illustrious career, Benacerraf received several other awards, such as the National Medal of Science in 1990.

 6 Joseph L. Goldstein

Joseph L. Goldstein
Famous As: Molecular Geneticist
Birthdate: April 18, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingstree, South Carolina, United States

American molecular geneticist Joseph L. Goldstein was born to clothing store owner parents in South Carolina. He ended up winning a Nobel Prize for his research on cholesterol metabolism, which later helped researchers develop statin drugs. He currently chairs the molecular genetics department of the University of Texas.

 7 Maud Menten

Maud Menten
Famous As: Researcher
Birthdate: March 20, 1879
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Port Lambton, Canada
Died: July 26, 1960

Maud Menten was a Canadian bio-medical and medical researcher. She made several important contributions to enzyme kinetics and histochemistry. She studied medicine at the University of Toronto, becoming among the first women in Canada to earn a medical doctorate. She collaborated with Leonor Michaelis to come up with the Michaelis-Menten equation model.

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 8 Joep Lange

Joep Lange
Famous As: Medical researcher
Birthdate: September 25, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nieuwenhagen, Netherlands
Died: July 17, 2014

 9 Jacinto Convit

Jacinto Convit
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: September 12, 1913
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Caracas, Venezuela
Died: May 12, 2014

 10 Florence R. Sabin

Florence R. Sabin
Famous As: Medical Scientist
Birthdate: November 9, 1871
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Central City, Colorado, United States
Died: October 3, 1953

 11 Elsie Effah Kaufmann

Elsie Effah Kaufmann
Famous As: Biomedical engineer
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Unknown

 12 Michael S. Brown

Michael S. Brown
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: April 13, 1941
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Michael S. Brown is an American geneticist who received the 1985 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. His research on cholesterol metabolism along with Joseph L. Goldstein paved the way for the development of statin drugs, which are used today by 16 million Americans. For his contributions to medicine, Brown was honored with the National Medal of Science in 1988.

 13 Ulf von Euler

Ulf von Euler
Famous As: Physiologist and Pharmacologist
Birthdate: February 7, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: March 9, 1983

Noted Swedish physiologist and pharmacologist Ulf von Euler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology (1970) for his work on discovery of neurotransmitters. A full Professor of Physiology at Karolinska Institute for over three decades, he also received the Gairdner prize, became a Foreign Member of the Royal Society and a founding member of the World Cultural Council.

 14 Victor A. McKusick

Victor A. McKusick
Famous As: Internist
Birthdate: October 21, 1921
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Parkman, Maine, United States
Died: July 22, 2008

Victor A. McKusick was an American medical geneticist and internist. Widely regarded as the father of medical genetics, McKusick was an ardent supporter of the mapping of the human genome. A celebrated geneticist, Victor A. McKusick won many prestigious awards including the Benjamin Franklin Medal for his contribution to science. 

 15 Ghada Karmi

Ghada Karmi
Famous As: Doctor of medicine
Birthdate: 1939 AD
Birthplace: Jerusalem

Palestinian doctor of medicine, author and academic Ghada Karmi is associated with the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter as research fellow and lecturer. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Karmi has penned several articles on Palestinian issues in Wayback Machine and in newspapers and magazines like Journal of Palestine Studies and The Guardian.

 16 Jean Dausset

Jean Dausset
Famous As: Immunologist
Birthdate: October 19, 1916
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Toulouse, France
Died: June 6, 2009

 17 Frederick Chapman Robbins

Frederick Chapman Robbins
Famous As: Virologist and Paediatrician
Birthdate: August 25, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Auburn, Alabama, United States
Died: August 4, 2003

 18 Nina Gray

Nina Gray
Famous As: Entrepreneur
Birthdate: August 23, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo

 19 María Luisa Ávila Agüero

María Luisa Ávila Agüero
Famous As: Infectious disease specialist
Birthdate: January 30, 1961
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: San José, Costa Rica

 20 Eliza Maria Mosher

Eliza Maria Mosher
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: October 2, 1846
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cayuga County, New York, United States
Died: October 16, 1928