Women Chemists

Throughout history, there have been many women chemists who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great female chemists such as Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, Irène Joliot-Curie, Dorothy Hodgkin, Stephanie Kwolek.The women chemists featured in this list are from United States, United Kingdom, Canada & Australia 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 Marie Curie

Marie Curie
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: November 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: July 4, 1934
Amongst the most notable scientists of her time, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the sole person to win two Nobel Prize in two different category, and the first woman professor at the University of Paris—Marie Curie’s list of achievements is incredible. She did extensive research in the field of radioactivity and discovered polonium and radium.

 2 Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: July 25, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Notting Hill, London, England
Died: April 16, 1958
Chemist and X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin is remembered for her pathbreaking X-ray diffraction studies of DNA, which helped in the Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the double helix structure of DNA by Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins later. She also worked on the molecular structures of viruses. 

 3 Dorothy Hodgkin

Dorothy Hodgkin
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 Stephanie Kwolek

Stephanie Kwolek
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: July 31, 1923
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New Kensington, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: June 18, 2014

Stephanie Kwolek was an American chemist remembered for her invention of Kevlar. She worked at the DuPont Company for over four decades and was awarded the company's Lavoisier Medal for her discovery. In 1995, she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, becoming the fourth woman to be inducted. She also won other awards including the Perkin Medal.

 5 Irène Joliot-Curie

Irène Joliot-Curie
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: September 12, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 17, 1956

Marie Curie and Pierre Curie’s daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, herself a brilliant scientist, won the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with her husband, Joliot-Curie, for discovering artificial radioactivity. She was also one of the first three female French government members. She tragically died of leukemia caused by exposure to radiation.

 6 Tu Youyou

Tu Youyou
Famous As: chemist, pharmacologist, inventor, university teacher
Birthdate: December 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ningbo

Chinese phytochemist and malariologist Tu Youyou is best remembered for her Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the anti-malarial drug qinghaosu, or artemisinin. She is the first Chinese female Nobel laureate. A tuberculosis infection in her younger days had inspired her to step into medicine. She later studied traditional Chinese medicine, too.

 7 Retta

Famous As: Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: April 12, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
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 8 Helen Sharman

Helen Sharman
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: May 30, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Sheffield,England

The first British person to fly into space, Helen Sharman also became the first female astronaut to visit the Mir space station. She was selected from over 13,000 applicants to be part of the Project Juno program. She was also as a chemist for the chocolate manufacturer Mars.

 9 Marina Oswald

Marina Oswald
Famous As: Pharmacist
Birthdate: July 17, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
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.

 10 Gertrude B. Elion

Gertrude B. Elion
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.

 11 Ada Yonath

Ada Yonath
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: June 22, 1939
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Jerusalem, Isreal

Ada Yonath is an Israeli crystallographer. She is best known for her work on the structure of the ribosome, for which she received the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz. The first Israeli woman to win the Nobel Prize, she occupies the Martin S. and Helen Kimmel Professorial Chair at the Weizmann Institute.  

 12 Clara Immerwahr

Clara Immerwahr
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: June 21, 1870
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wojczyce, Poland
Died: May 2, 1915

 13 Catherine Coleman

Catherine Coleman
Famous As: Chemist, Air force officer, Astronaut, Engineer
Birthdate: December 14, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Charleston

 14 Marguerite Perey

Marguerite Perey
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 19, 1909
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Villemomble, France
Died: May 13, 1975

 15 Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim

Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: August 7, 1987
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Heppenheim, Germany

 16 Ellen Swallow Richards

Ellen Swallow Richards
Famous As: Chemist, University teacher, Economist
Birthdate: December 3, 1842
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dunstable
Died: March 30, 1911

 17 Alice Ball

Alice Ball
Famous As: Chemist, Pharmacist
Birthdate: July 24, 1892
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, United States
Died: December 31, 1916

 18 Brigitte Boisselier

Brigitte Boisselier
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: April 3, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Langres, France

Brigitte Boisselier leads Clonaid, a company focused on human cloning research. She is also a leader of the quasi-religious Raëlism movement, which believes humans were created by aliens. Although she once announced that Clonaid had successfully cloned a human child, the legal questions surrounding it later silenced her.

 19 Marie-Anne Paulze Lavoisier

Marie-Anne Paulze Lavoisier
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: January 20, 1758
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Montbrison, France
Died: February 10, 1836

At 13, Marie-Anne Paulze Lavoisier had married lawyer and chemist Antoine Lavoisier. Her mastery of English helped her assist her husband communicate with his collaborators. She also illustrated her husband’s books and eventually negotiated with Joseph Priestley, on his behalf, over the naming of oxygen, which Priestley had discovered.

 20 Margarita Salas

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

 21 Susan Solomon

Susan Solomon
Famous As: chemist
Birthdate: January 19, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago

 22 Dame Kathleen Lonsdale

Dame Kathleen Lonsdale
Famous As: Crystallographer
Birthdate: January 28, 1903
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Newbridge, Ireland
Died: April 1, 1971

 23 Ida Noddack

Ida Noddack
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: February 25, 1896
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wesel, Germany
Died: September 24, 1978

 24 Ruth R. Benerito

Ruth R. Benerito
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: January 12, 1916
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: October 5, 2013

 25 Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo

Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo
Famous As: Chemical engineer
Birthdate: January 18, 1930
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Abrantes, Portugal
Died: July 10, 2004

 26 Hazel Bishop

Hazel Bishop
Famous As: Chemist and businesswoman
Birthdate: August 17, 1906
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hoboken, New Jersey, United States
Died: December 5, 1998

 27 Sossina M. Haile

Sossina M. Haile
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: July 28, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ethiopia

 28 Aïssata Issoufou Mahamadou

Aïssata Issoufou Mahamadou
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Maine Soroa, Niger

 29 Katherine B. Hoffman

Katherine B. Hoffman
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: August 1, 1914
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Winter Haven, Florida, United States
Died: July 18, 2020

 30 Anna J. Harrison

Anna J. Harrison
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: December 23, 1912
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Benton City, Missouri, United States
Died: August 8, 1998

 31 Elmira Süleymanova

Elmira Süleymanova
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: July 17, 1937
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baku, Azerbaijan

 32 Graças Foster

Graças Foster
Famous As: Business executive
Birthdate: August 26, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Caratinga, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil

 33 Iolanda Cintura

Iolanda Cintura
Famous As: Chemist, Politician
Birthdate: October 24, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chimoio, Mozambique

 34 Antigoni Papadopoulou

Antigoni Papadopoulou
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: July 8, 1954
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Güzelyurt

 35 Edith Humphrey

Edith Humphrey
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: September 11, 1875
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: February 25, 1978

 36 Hind Al-Abadleh

Hind Al-Abadleh
Famous As: Environmental chemistry
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: United Arab Emirates

 37 Marie-Therese Assiga Ahanda

Marie-Therese Assiga Ahanda
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: 1941 AD
Birthplace: Yaoundé, Cameroon
Died: February 1, 2014

 38 Manar Fayyad

Manar Fayyad
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: November 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Deir al-Ghusun, Palestine

 39 Mishkan Al-Awar

Mishkan Al-Awar
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Died: July 26, 2020