American Female Biochemists

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 1 Jennifer Doudna

Jennifer Doudna
4
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: February 19, 1964
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

American biochemist Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, who has made fundamental contributions in biochemistry and genetics, is best-known for her pioneering work in CRISPR gene-editing. Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing a method for genome editing through CRISPR, marking them as the only two women to share science Nobel ever.

 2 Peggy Whitson

Peggy Whitson
4
Famous As: Astronaut, Biochemist
Birthdate: February 9, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Beaconsfield, Iowa, United States

The first woman to command the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson was born to farmers and decided to become an astronaut after watching the moon landing on TV. She also boasts of a PhD in biochemistry and has been a researcher and educator of biochemistry and genetic engineering.

 3 Gertrude B. Elion

Gertrude B. Elion
3
Famous As: Biochemist, Pharmacologist
Birthdate: January 23, 1918
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: February 21, 1999

The daughter of Jewish immigrants in New York, Gertrude B. Elion excelled in chemistry at Hunter College, where she studied for free, but was initially unable to find a job due to gender bias. The renowned biochemist and pharmacologist later won a Nobel and became a pioneer in medical research.

 4 Gerty Cori

Gerty Cori
3
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: August 15, 1896
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: October 26, 1957

Austro-Hungarian-American biochemist Gerty Cori is best-known for discovering the course of catalytic conversion of glycogen with her husband Carl Ferdinand Cori for which they jointly won the 1947 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. With this Gerty became the third woman to win a Nobel in science and the first to win it in this category.

 5 Marie Maynard Daly

Marie Maynard Daly
5
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: April 16, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Corona, New York, United States
Died: October 28, 2003

Marie Maynard Daly was the first Black lady to earn a doctoral degree in chemistry in the U.S. She was inspired by her father, who had to drop out of Cornell due to lack of funds. A pioneer of biochemistry, Daly later introduced a scholarship for African-American students at Queens College.

 6 Shannon Lucid

Shannon Lucid
3
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: January 14, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shanghai, China

Shannon Lucid once held the record for the longest space stay by any woman and by any American. Born in China, to missionaries, she was imprisoned by the Japanese, along with her parents, as an infant. The family then moved to the U.S., where Lucid studied at the University of Oklahoma.

 7 Mildred Cohn

Mildred Cohn
1
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: July 12, 1913
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: October 12, 2009

Apart from facing discrimination as a Russian Jew, Mildred Cohn also battled gender bias, being denied a promotion at NACA for being the only woman among the 70 staff members. Her pioneering use of NMR in the study of enzyme reactions later earned her a National Medal of Science.

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 8 Florence B. Seibert

Florence B. Seibert
1
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: October 6, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Easton, Pennsylvania
Died: August 23, 1991

Florence B. Seibert is remembered for developing the tuberculin test, which became the standard test for detecting TB. Defeating polio at age 3, she went on to win scholarships and made it to Yale. One of the greatest women biochemists of the U.S., she also contributed to intravenous drug therapy.

 9 Vanessa Nadal

Vanessa Nadal
2
Famous As: Lin-Manuel Miranda's Wife
Birthdate: August 18, 1982
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, New York

Better known as Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda's wife, Vanessa Nadal is a lawyer and teaches at the Fordham Law School. She also boasts of a chemical engineering degree from MIT and has worked at Johnson & Johnson. Vanessa and Lin-Manuel were in high school together, which is where their love blossomed.