Born to rich Catholic parents, John Lilly spent his childhood treating science as a hobby. While studying medicine, he performed gruelling medical experiments on himself. He later invented isolating floatation tanks, studied bottlenose dolphins, and researched on psychedelic drug-induced near-death experiences. He also explored yoga and human consciousness.
The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Melvin Calvin earned scholarships to fund his studies and eventually earned a PhD in chemistry from the University of Minnesota. The University of California, Berkeley professor later won a Nobel for co-discovering the Calvin cycle, which explained the chemical pathways of photosynthesis.
Co-winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, American cell biologist Randy Schekman is best known for his "ground-breaking work on cell membrane vesicle trafficking, a major transport system in our cells." Author of several books on Cell and Developmental Biology, he has also served as the editor of several scientific magazines.
Nobel Prize-winning doctor Peter Agre revolutionized science with his work on the movement of water molecules inside the cell membrane. Born to a chemistry professor, he developed an interest in science early in his life. He was also associated with the medical schools at Johns Hopkins and Duke University.
A pioneer of modern immunology, Robert A. Good was partially paralysed in his younger days and completed his medical studies in a wheelchair, though he mostly recovered later. He was the man behind the first bone marrow transplant in the world. He later won the Lasker Award, among other honors.