Cancer Scientists

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

Vote for Your Favourite Cancer Scientists

 1 
Alan Turing
(Father of Theoretical Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence)

Alan Turing
114
Birthdate: June 23, 1912
Birthplace: Maida Vale, London, England
Died: June 7, 1954

Regarded as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Turing was a distinguished mathematician and logician. During WWII, he successfully broke the challenging German Enigma machine codes thereby reducing the duration of war by a couple of years. The scientist, who was convicted for being gay, has been an inspiration for numerous films, plays and novels.

 2 
Terence Tao
(Mathematician)

Terence Tao
19
Birthdate: July 17, 1975
Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia

Terence Tao is an Australian-American mathematician who works at the University of California, Los Angeles as a professor of mathematics. Widely considered one of the most prominent living mathematicians, Tao was honored with the prestigious Fields Medal in 2006. In 2014, he was awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics.

 3 
Lord Kelvin
(Mathematician, Physicist)

Lord Kelvin
5
Birthdate: June 26, 1824
Birthplace: Belfast
Died: December 17, 1907

Lord Kelvin was a British mathematical physicist and engineer. He studied at the Glasgow University and proceeded to teach there as well. Besides his academic career, he also had a career as an electric telegraph engineer and inventor. He received the Royal Society's Copley Medal in 1883. Absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in his honor.

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 4 
Vint Cerf
(Computer scientist)

Vint Cerf
7
Birthdate: June 23, 1943
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States
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 5 
Nikola Tesla
(Inventor, Engineer & Futurist, Who Obtained Over 300 Patents)

Nikola Tesla
27
Birthdate: July 10, 1856
Birthplace: Smiljan, Croatia
Died: January 7, 1943

Inventor, engineer and futurist, Nikola Tesla, is best remembered for his contribution to the development of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. A prolific inventor, he had around 300 patents for his inventions. Even though he earned a considerable amount of money, he had poor money management skills and died a poor man.

 6 
Hendrik Lorentz
(Physicist)

Hendrik Lorentz
4
Birthdate: July 18, 1853
Birthplace: Arnhem, Netherlands
Died: February 4, 1928

Nobel Prize-winning Dutch physicist Hendrik Lorentz, a major figure of the Second Dutch Golden Age, is remembered for his discovery of the Zeeman effect, along with his former student Pieter Zeeman, who shared the Nobel with Lorentz. His research on electromagnetic radiation prepared ground for Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

 7 
Gregor Mendel
(Know for Creating the science of Genetics)

Gregor Mendel
35
Birthdate: July 20, 1822
Birthplace: Hynčice, Vražné, Czechia
Died: January 6, 1884

A scientist, meteorologist, mathematician, and biologist, Gregor Mendel is considered the founder of the modern science of genetics. He conducted a series of experiments on pea plants between 1856 and 1863, establishing many rules of heredity. Besides his work on pea plants, he also described novel plant species and conducted experiments with hawkweed and honeybees.

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 8 
Terri Irwin
(Naturalist Who is The Owner of Australia Zoo in 'Beerwah, Queensland')

Terri Irwin
6
Birthdate: July 20, 1964
Birthplace: Eugene, Oregon, United States

American–Australian naturalist Terri Irwin is best known as the co-host of The Crocodile Hunter, along with her husband, the late animal expert Steve Irwin. She has also been part of shows such as Croc Files and Crikey! It's the Irwins, and helped in the development of Australia Zoo.

 9 
Gottfried W. Leibniz
(One of The Greatest Representatives of 17th-century 'Rationalism' and Idealism')

Gottfried W. Leibniz
9
Birthdate: July 1, 1646
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: November 14, 1716
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a significant logician, mathematician, and philosopher of the Enlightenment era. He laid down his own concepts of differential and integral calculus. He was behind the invention of the mass-produced mechanical calculator and modified the binary number system. He also laid down a separate library cataloging system.

 10 
Georges Lemaître
(Scientist & Priest)

Georges Lemaître
9
Birthdate: July 17, 1894
Birthplace: Charleroi, Belgium
Died: June 20, 1966

Georges Lemaître was a mathematician, astronomer, and professor of physics. Lemaître was the first person to theorize that the expansion of the universe can be used to explain the recession of nearby galaxies. In 1927, Lemaître published the first estimation of the Hubble constant. He also came up with the Big Bang theory to explain the origin of the universe.

 11 
John Dee
(Mathematician, Philosopher)

John Dee
12
Birthdate: July 13, 1527
Birthplace: Tower Ward, London
Died: February 29, 1609

Anglo-Welsh mathematician, occultist, astronomer, teacher, astrologer and alchemist John Dee is best-remembered as advisor to Queen of England, Elizabeth I. Dee coined the term British Empire and advocated its formation by founding of English colonies in the New World. He had one of the largest libraries in England at the time and wrote on astrology, geography, trigonometry, navigation and calendar reform.

 12 
Alfred Kinsey
(Biologist)

Alfred Kinsey
7
Birthdate: June 23, 1894
Birthplace: Hoboken, New Jersey, United States
Died: August 25, 1956

Alfred Kinsey was an American biologist, sexologist, and professor of zoology and entomology. He is credited with founding the Indiana University's Institute for Sex Research in 1947. Kinsey's research on human sexuality and his other works have influenced cultural and social values in the USA as well as internationally. In 2012, Kinsey was inducted into Chicago's Legacy Walk.

 13 
Samuel Colt
(Inventor)

Samuel Colt
6
Birthdate: July 19, 1814
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Died: January 10, 1862

 14 
Anatoli Bugorski
(physicist, nuclear scientist)

Anatoli Bugorski
4
Birthdate: June 25, 1942
Russian particle physicist Anatoli Bugorski is known as the man who survived after putting his head inside a particle accelerator while examining a faulty equipment. The radiation caused partial paralysis of his face and loss of hearing in his left ear. The Soviet government prevented him from talking about this for decades.

 15 
Robert Ballard
(Deep Sea Explorer)

Robert Ballard
6
Birthdate: June 30, 1942
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, United States

 16 
Nettie Stevens
(Geneticist)

Nettie Stevens
5
Birthdate: July 7, 1861
Birthplace: Cavendish, Vermont, United States
Died: May 4, 1912

Nettie Stevens was an American geneticist. She is credited with discovering sex chromosomes which later came to be known as the X and Y chromosomes. In 1994, Nettie Stevens was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 17 
Adi Shamir
(Mathematician, Cryptologist, Computer scientist)

Adi Shamir
5
Birthdate: July 6, 1952
Birthplace: Tel Aviv

Turing Award-winning Israeli cryptographer Adi Shamir is one of the co-inventors of RSA encryption. He also owns patents to more than a dozen more inventions. He has been associated with the University of Warwick and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has also taught at the Weizmann Institute.

 18 
Kathy Reichs
(Writer)

Kathy Reichs
6
Birthdate: July 7, 1948
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Kathy Reichs is a forensic anthropologist, academic, and crime writer. She has been certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology and is an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina. She is the author of numerous technical books and has also written many novels. She also produced the TV series Bones, based on her works. 

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 19 
Carl Woese
(American microbiologist)

Carl Woese
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1928
Birthplace: Syracuse, New York
Died: December 30, 2012

Carl Woese was an American biophysicist and microbiologist. He is credited with originating the RNA world hypothesis as well as pioneering a technique that revolutionized microbiology. In 1992, he was awarded microbiology's highest honor, Leeuwenhoek Medal. In 1995, he was honored with the Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology. Carl Woese received the National Medal of Science in 2000.

 20 
Harrison Schmitt
(Geologist)

Harrison Schmitt
4
Birthdate: July 3, 1935
Birthplace: Santa Rita, New Mexico, United States

 21 
Charles Messier
(Astronomer)

Charles Messier
4
Birthdate: June 26, 1730
Birthplace: Badonviller
Died: April 12, 1817

French astronomer Charles Messier is remembered for his pioneering tabulation of nebulae, making it easier to differentiate between nebulae and comets. King Louis XV name him The Comet Ferret. He was drawn to astronomy when he witnessed a solar eclipse and the great six-tailed comet in childhood.

 22 

William Henry Bragg
3
Birthdate: July 2, 1862
Birthplace: Wigton, England
Died: March 12, 1942

William Henry Bragg was an English physicist, chemist, and mathematician. He is best known for sharing the  1915 Nobel Prize in Physics with his son Lawrence Bragg for their work in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays. William Henry Bragg had an illustrious academic career and was elected president of the Royal Society in 1935. 

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 23 
John Pemberton
(Pharmacist)

John Pemberton
7
Birthdate: July 8, 1831
Birthplace: Knoxville, Georgia, United States
Died: August 16, 1888

John Pemberton was an American pharmacist best remembered for his invention of Coca-Cola. A Confederate States Army veteran, Pemberton suffered from a wound sustained during the Battle of Columbus. The injury led him to experiment with different kinds of toxins and painkillers, which in turn helped him invent the recipe to make Coca-Cola.

 24 
Vilfredo Pareto
(Economist, Writer, Philosopher, Sociologist, University teacher)

Vilfredo Pareto
5
Birthdate: July 15, 1848
Birthplace: Paris
Died: August 19, 1923

A qualified civil engineer, Vilfredo Pareto had initially worked for the railways and the ironworks. However, he gradually deviated to philosophy, sociology, and politics and gained fame for his application of math to economic issues and his introduction of Pareto efficiency. Mind and Society remains his best-known work.

 25 

John Archibald Wheeler
4
Birthdate: July 9, 1911
Birthplace: Jacksonville
Died: April 13, 2008

American theoretical-physicist John Archibald Wheeler, who worked as professor of physics at Princeton University for most of his career, is best-known for co-developing the concept of Breit–Wheeler process, popularising the term black hole, and helping in designing and building the hydrogen bomb. He also invented several terms like quantum foam and wormhole, and hypothesized the one-electron universe.

 26 
Elias James Corey
(Organic Chemist)

Elias James Corey
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1928
Birthplace: Methuen, Massachusetts, United States

 27 
Bill Oddie
(Writer)

Bill Oddie
5
Birthdate: July 7, 1941
Birthplace: Rochdale, Lancashire, England, UK

 28 
Fred Hoyle
(Astronomer)

Fred Hoyle
4
Birthdate: June 24, 1915
Birthplace: Bingley, England
Died: August 20, 2001

Fred Hoyle was an English astronomer known for his theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. He spent most of his career at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge, serving as its director for six years. He was also an author of science fiction novels, short stories, and plays and appeared in a series of radio talks on astronomy for the BBC.  

 29 
John Urschel
(Mathematician)

John Urschel
6
Birthdate: June 24, 1991
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Canada

Part of the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list of young scientists, Canadian-American mathematician John Urschel has previously had an illustrious football career as part of the NFL team Baltimore Ravens. He played with the Ravens without revealing that he was a full-time graduate student at MIT.

 30 
Willard Van Orman Quine
(Mathematician, Analytic philosopher, Philosopher of language, Epistemologist, Philosopher of science, University teacher, Professor, Philosopher)

Willard Van Orman Quine
4
Birthdate: June 25, 1908
Birthplace: Akron
Died: December 25, 2000

 31 
Jocelyn Bell Burnell
(Astrophysicist who discovered the first radio pulsars and was President of the Royal Astronomical Society from 2002 until 2004)

Jocelyn Bell Burnell
5
Birthdate: July 15, 1943
Birthplace: Lurgan, Northern Ireland

Jocelyn Bell Burnell is an astrophysicist from Northern Ireland. As a postgraduate student, she discovered the first radio pulsars. She graduated from the University of Glasgow and pursued an academic career. In 2018, she received the Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for her discovery of radio pulsars. She donated the three million dollars she received as prize money.  

 32 

Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis
5
Birthdate: June 29, 1893
Birthplace: Kolkata
Died: June 28, 1972

Best known for conceptualizing the Mahalanobis distance, Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis was a renowned Padma Vibhushan-winning Indian statistician who played a major role in his country’s industrialization policies of the Second Five-Year Plan. He also taught at his alma, Presidency College, and was one of the founders of the Indian Statistical Institute.

 33 
Roald Hoffmann
(Theoretical Chemist)

Roald Hoffmann
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1937
Birthplace: Złoczów, Poland (now Ukraine)

 34 
Vladimir Demikhov
(Organ Transplant Pioneer)

Vladimir Demikhov
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1916
Birthplace: Moscow
Died: November 22, 1998
While some called him a mad scientist, Vladimir Demikhov is now remembered as a pioneer of organ transplantation. The Soviet scientist coined the term transplantology and shocked the world by creating two-headed dogs, by attaching the head of one dog to the body of another. 

 35 
Hans Bethe
(Physicist)

Hans Bethe
7
Birthdate: July 2, 1906
Birthplace: Strasbourg
Died: March 6, 2005

A physiology professor’s son, Hans Bethe had shown immense talent in math as a child. The German-American theoretical physicist and Cornell professor was a pioneer of quantum physics and later won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his research on stellar nucleosynthesis, or the formation of energy in stars.

 36 

Henrietta Swan Leavitt
4
Birthdate: July 4, 1868
Birthplace: Lancaster, Massachusetts
Died: December 12, 1921

Born to a church minister, Henrietta Swan Leavitt grew up to work as a “human computer” at the Harvard Observatory. The American astronomer gained fame for discovering the period-luminosity relation of Cepheid variables. However, her brilliant scientific career was halted by her death due to stomach cancer at 53.

 37 
Richard Owen
(Biologist)

Richard Owen
3
Birthdate: July 20, 1804
Birthplace: Lancaster, England
Died: December 18, 1892

 38 
Hermann Minkowski
(Mathematician)

Hermann Minkowski
3
Birthdate: June 22, 1864
Birthplace: Aleksotase vald, Kaunas, Lithuania
Died: January 12, 1909

Hermann Minkowski was a mathematician who served as a professor at the University of Göttingen, the University of Königsberg, and the University of Zurich. He is credited with creating and developing the geometry of numbers. He is also credited with using geometrical methods to resolve problems in the theory of relativity, mathematical physics, and number theory.

 39 
Oliver Sacks
(Scientist, Neurologist, Educator, Psychiatrist)

Oliver Sacks
4
Birthdate: July 9, 1933
Birthplace: Cricklewood, London, England
Died: August 30, 2015

Born to doctor parents, Oliver Sacks followed in their footsteps to become a neurologist. His successful treatment of people suffering from sleeping sickness in the 1920s inspired the book Awakenings and the Academy Award-nominated movie based on it. He also studied complexities involved in Tourette syndrome.

Éleuthère Irénée du Pont
3
Birthdate: June 24, 1771
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 31, 1834

Éleuthère Irénée du Pont was the founder of the American gunpowder company E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and the patriarch of the famous du Pont family of businessmen. Born in France, du Pont had escaped to the U.S. with his family during the French Revolution. 

 41 
Robert Winston
(Surgeon, Scientist, TV Presenter)

Robert Winston
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1940
Birthplace: London, England

British professor, medical doctor, scientist, television presenter and Labour Party politician Robert Winston is noted for developing gynaecological surgical procedures that improved fertility treatments. He also pioneered different improvements in IVF technology. He was created a life peer in December 1995.

 42 
Marina Oswald
(Pharmacist)

Marina Oswald
4
Birthdate: July 17, 1941
Birthplace: Severodvinsk Molotovsk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union

Marina Oswald is a Russian-born American pharmacist best known as the widow of Lee Harvey Oswald, who killed the 35th president of the USA, John F. Kennedy. She played a key role in the Warren Commission hearings where she testified against Oswald. Marina has been portrayed by many actresses in films like JFK and Fatal Deception: Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald.

 43 
Friedrich Bessel
(Astronomer)

Friedrich Bessel
4
Birthdate: July 22, 1784
Birthplace: Minden, Germany
Died: March 17, 1846

Friedrich Bessel was a German mathematician, astronomer, geodesist, and physicist. He was the first astronomer to use the method of parallax in order to determine the distance of a star from the sun. Bessel was a much-respected figure during his time. He was honored with the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.

 44 
Eva Ekeblad
(Scientist)

Eva Ekeblad
5
Birthdate: July 10, 1724
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: May 15, 1786

Eva Ekeblad was a Swedish countess, agronomist, salon hostess, and scientist. In 1746, she discovered a method to make flour and alcohol from potatoes which earned her popularity. Her discovery made her the first female inductee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1748.

 45 
Ernst Mayr
(Biologist)

Ernst Mayr
3
Birthdate: July 5, 1904
Birthplace: Kempten
Died: February 3, 2005

Ernst Mayr was a renowned taxonomist, ornithologist, tropical explorer, historian of science, and philosopher of biology. He was also one of the leading evolutionary biologists of the 20th century. His work contributed immensely to the progression of the biological species concept. Ernst Mayr is also credited with originating the modern philosophy of biology, especially the part concerning evolutionary biology.

 46 
Rajnath Singh
(Politician)

Rajnath Singh
20
Birthdate: July 10, 1951
Birthplace: Chandauli district

The current Indian defense minister Rajnath Singh has previously held other important portfolios, such as home affairs and agriculture. He has also been a BJP president and the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. Born into a farmer’s family, he worked as a physics lecturer before he joined the RSS.

 47 
Moncef Slaoui
(Who served as the Head of Operation Warp Speed)

Moncef Slaoui
0
Birthdate: July 22, 1959
Birthplace: Agadir, Morocco

 48 
Elio Di Rupo
(Politician)

Elio Di Rupo
5
Birthdate: July 18, 1951
Birthplace: Morlanwelz, Belgium

Elio Di Rupo is a Belgian socialist politician best known for serving as the Prime Minister of Belgium from 2011 to 2014. Di Rupo, who served as the Mayor of Mons from 2000 to 2018, is the current Minister-President of Wallonia. Elio Di Rupo was also the world's first openly gay man to head a government in modern times.

 49 
Robert Adam
(Architect, Archaeologist, Politician)

Robert Adam
3
Birthdate: July 3, 1728
Birthplace: Kirkcaldy
Died: March 3, 1792

 50 

Gerard ’t Hooft
3
Birthdate: July 5, 1946
Birthplace: Den Helder, Netherlands

Gerard ’t Hooft is a Dutch theoretical physicist whose work focuses on black holes, gauge theory, quantum gravity, and quantum mechanics. In 1999, he shared the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physics with Martinus J. G. Veltman. Over the years, Gerard ’t Hooft has also received other prestigious awards, such as the Wolf Prize, Lorentz Medal, Spinoza Prize, and Franklin Medal.