Chilean politician Michelle Bachelet serves as 7th United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She became the first female politician in Chilean history who was elected as the country’s President and the first elected female leader in South America. She served as the 33rd and 35th President of Chile and held several other prominent positions during her expansive political career.
Max Theiler was a South African-American virologist and physician. After getting his medical degree in South Africa, he went on to earn a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene in London. During his career, he developed a vaccine against yellow fever, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951.
Nathan Wolfe is an American virologist best known for founding a not-for-profit organization called Global Viral, where he is serving as the director. Wolfe, who is also credited with founding Metabiota, spent more than eight years in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa conducting biomedical research. In 2009, Wolfe was mentioned in Rolling Stone magazine's Top 100 Agents of Change list.
Microbiologist Thomas Francis, Jr. is best remembered for identifying the influenza A and influenza B strains and creating a vaccine effective against both. He also contributed to the research on the treatment of pneumonia. His medical research won his many accolades and awards, such as the Medal of Freedom.
Eighteenth-century English doctor Richard Mead is remembered for his study on transmissible diseases such as smallpox, scurvy, and measles. He also wrote on the treatment of snake venom victims. An avid reader, he owned a huge collection of books, too. A satirized version of his character appears in Tristram Shandy.
English epidemiologist William Budd was the first to find out that water was a source of typhoid fever, by linking deaths due to the disease to the lemonade that the victims had consumed at an inn party. His studies also put a stamp on the theory that infectious diseases were contagious.
Best remembered for his fight against American trypanosomiasis, Salvador Mazza had to face governmental apathy as well as active resistance from powerful quarters while carrying on his research. Yet, he continued with his mission, setting up his first laboratory in a railway car in Argentina’s underdeveloped north, eventually forcing the South American medical community to accept the validity of trypanosomiasis.
A highly intellectual scholar and a reputed epistemologist, Giulio Giorello graduated from the University of Milan with philosophy and mathematics. He later taught physics and natural science in a number of reputed universities across Italy before being appointed as professor of philosophy of science at his alma mater. A prolific writer, he published around twenty major works in his lifetime.
Best known for revolutionizing medical science with his research on hepatitis B, American physician R. Palmer Beasley was the first to find a link between the HPV virus and liver cancer. Though born into a family of bankers, he chose to study medicine at Harvard.
Mercedes Pascual is a Uruguayan academic and theoretical ecologist. She is best known for her association with the University of Chicago, where she serves as a professor of Ecology and Evolution. She also leads a laboratory at the University of Chicago. Over the course of her career, Mercedes Pascual has won several prestigious awards, including the Robert H. MacArthur Award.
Renowned epidemiologist George W. Comstock is best remembered for his pathbreaking research on tuberculosis. Born to a metallurgical engineer, he had initially aspired to follow in his father’s footsteps but chose to study medicine at Harvard instead. His research areas included cancer and cardiovascular diseases, too.