Women Biochemists

Throughout history, there have been many women biochemists who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great female biochemists such as Dorothy Hodgkin, Gertrude B. Elion, Gerty Cori, Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, Johanna Budwig.The women biochemists featured in this list are from United States, United Kingdom, Canada & India and many more countries.

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 Jennifer Doudna

Jennifer Doudna
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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
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Famous As: Astronaut, Biochemist
Birthdate: February 9, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mount Ayr, 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 Dorothy Hodgkin

Dorothy Hodgkin
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Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: May 12, 1910
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Cairo, Egypt
Died: July 29, 1994

Dorothy Hodgkin received the 1964 Nobel Prize for mapping the structure of penicillin and Vitamin B12. She is also known for her work on insulin. Beginning her work on structure of an organic compound by using X-ray crystallography as an undergraduate student, she later developed it further and used it to determine the three-dimensional structure of complex organic molecules.

 4 Emmanuelle Charpentier

Emmanuelle Charpentier
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Famous As: Researcher
Birthdate: December 11, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Juvisy-sur-Orge, France

 5 Gertrude B. Elion

Gertrude B. Elion
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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.

 6 Gerty Cori

Gerty Cori
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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.

 7 Katalin Karikó

Katalin Karikó
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Famous As: mRNA technology in immunology and therapies
Birthdate: January 17, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Szolnok, Hungary

Hungarian biochemist Katalin Karikó is best known for her research on mRNA, which led scientists to develop the first mRNA-based vaccine in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. After working at the Biological Research Centre in Szeged, she moved to the US due to lack of funding.

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 8 Johanna Budwig

Johanna Budwig
3
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: September 30, 1908
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Germany
Died: May 19, 2003

German biochemist and pharmacist Johanna Budwig is best remembered for her anti-cancer diet known as the Budwig diet. Her extensive research on fatty acids helped her create the diet that consists of flaxseed oil, cottage cheese, and low-fat milk. However, there’s no scientific evidence that proves the effectiveness of the diet.

 9 Marie Maynard Daly

Marie Maynard Daly
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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.

 10 Rosalyn Sussman Yalow

Rosalyn Sussman Yalow
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Famous As: Medical Physicist
Birthdate: July 19, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: May 30, 2011

Medical physicist Rosalyn Sussman Yalow was the second woman and the first American woman to earn the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Best known for her research on the radioimmunoassay, or RIA, technique, she studied science at a time when women weren’t hired for science jobs.

 11 Shannon Lucid

Shannon Lucid
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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.

 12 Shirley M. Tilghman

Shirley M. Tilghman
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Famous As: Molecular biologist, University teacher, Biochemist
Birthdate: September 17, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Toronto

Shirley Marie Tilghman, the nineteenth President of Princeton University, currently the Emeritus Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Affairs, is considered to be one of the most influential female scientists of our time. Although she is no longer involved in active research she is known for her contributions in the fields of molecular genetics, especially in genomic imprinting.

 13 Margarita Salas

Margarita Salas
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Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: November 30, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Valdés, Spain
Died: November 7, 2019

 14 Frédérique Vidal

Frédérique Vidal
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Famous As: Biochemist, Politician
Birthdate: May 9, 1964
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Monaco

 15 Mildred Cohn

Mildred Cohn
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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.

 16 Marian Ewurama Addy

Marian Ewurama Addy
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Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: February 7, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nkawkaw, Ghana
Died: January 14, 2014

 17 Florence B. Seibert

Florence B. Seibert
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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.

 18 Asmeret Asefaw Berhe

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
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Famous As: Soil scientist, Researcher
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Asmara, Eritrea

 19 Dorothy Maud Wrinch

Dorothy Maud Wrinch
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: September 12, 1894
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rosario, Argentina
Died: February 11, 1976

 20 Sia Koroma

Sia Koroma
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Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: March 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kono District British Sierra Leone

 21 Vanessa Nadal

Vanessa Nadal
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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.

 22 Muriel Wheldale Onslow

Muriel Wheldale Onslow
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Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: March 31, 1880
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Birmingham, England
Died: May 19, 1932

 23 Farida Mansurova

Farida Mansurova
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Famous As: Physician and scientific researcher.
Birthdate: May 2, 1952
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Died: July 1, 2021