20 significantly Brave Leaders who contributed to Medicine | CIO Women Magazine
20 Leaders who have
By CIO Women Magazine
Many human pursuits depend on leadership to succeed. Sports, education, the arts,
journalism, law, the military, and medicine may all attribute their success to the
kind of leadership supplied.
Throughout the last few decades, the medical profession has seen dramatic
transformations, and many Leaders who contributed to Medicine. Growing
dependence on molecular markers, the introduction of robotic surgery, health care
reform legislation, and increased use of electronic medical records are just a few of
the changes that have happened in our field.
Here are 20 Leaders who contributed to
1. Metrodora (c. 200-400 AD)
On the Disorders and Cures of Women, written by Metrodora, a Greek female
physician and Leaders who contributed to Medicine, is the earliest medical
literature known to have been authored by a woman. Significantly, it omitted
information on obstetrics, the study of childbirth, which was relatively uncommon
at a period when women were limited to gynecology and midwifery.
Metodora, on the other hand, is believed to have covered all fields of women’s
medicine, establishing different medicines and surgical methods that were novel at
the time. Her work was significantly inspired by the Greek physician Hippocrates,
and it has affected and been mentioned by many other medical authors throughout
2. Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910)
Elizabeth Blackwell is most recognized Leaders who contributed to Medicine in
the United States as the first woman to receive a medical degree (MD). She grew
up in a progressive, socially engaged home. Her father was a staunch opponent of
slavery, and her siblings went on to struggle for women’s rights.
Despite being turned down by numerous institutions, Blackwell got admitted to
Geneva Medical College in 1847. She was first met with animosity by her
classmates, but she ultimately earned their respect and graduated first in her class
in 1849. Together with her sister, Dr Emily Blackwell (the third woman to receive
an MD), and Dr. Marie Zakrzewska, she founded the New York Infirmary for
Women and Children in 1857.
Blackwell was a social awareness and moral reformer in both the United States and
the United Kingdom, and she pushed education for women in medicine via her
inspiring book Pioneer Work in Opening the Medical Profession to Women.
3. Louis Ignarro
These American Leaders who contributed to Medicine, pharmacologist, and
medical researcher was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of an unskilled
carpenter. Ignarro received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1998 for
discovering the signaling characteristics of nitric oxide. Ignarro attended Columbia
and the University of Minnesota before becoming a professor of pharmacology at
His early research partnerships at the National Institutes of Health resulted in a
better knowledge of the cardiovascular system among doctors. His findings have
resulted in the creation of several drugs, including nutritional supplements that
boost cardiovascular health and Viagra. He has published five significant papers on
the consequences of his study into Nitric Oxide’s health qualities.
4. Marie Curie (1867-1934)
Marie Curie, a Polish mathematician, and physicist, Leaders who contributed to
Medicine worked alongside her husband, Pierre, to discover two chemical
elements in the periodic table: polonium and radium. This significant study
discovered a link between radioactivity and the heavier elements of the periodic
table, which led to significant advances in medicine. It was most notable for paving
the way for the creation of the x-ray, which enabled internal imaging to be utilized
for diagnosis without the need for open surgery, as well as radiation therapy for
During WWI, Marie and her daughter Irene carried transportable X-Ray equipment
and radiology units to the front lines, allowing for the treatment of over a million
Curie received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 and the Nobel Prize in
Chemistry in 1911, making her the first and only woman to be honored twice. She
started the Curie Institute in Paris in 1920, which is still a key cancer research
5. Gerty Cori (1896-1957)
Gerty Cori, another Nobel Prize recipient Leaders who contributed to Medicine,
received the coveted prize in 1947 for her contribution in medicine/physiology.
Cori was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize in this field. She collaborated
with her husband, Carl Ferdinand Cori, who shared her interest in preclinical
research, to establish important genetic notions.
Their research led to the revelation that metabolic diseases might be caused by an
enzyme shortage. They also conducted several investigations on the effect of
hormones, with an emphasis on the pituitary gland. Between 1948 and 1955, Gerty
received numerous more honors for her contributions to science and received
honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Boston University, Smith College, Yale,
Columbia, and Rochester.
6. Virginia Apgar (1909-1974)
Virginia Apgar Leaders who contributed to Medicine is most known for inventing
the Apgar score, a key test that clinicians immediately embraced to determine if
newborn newborns needed immediate medical treatment.
The Apgar score has significantly reduced infant death rates and is still used today
to evaluate the clinical state of babies in their first few minutes of life. Apgar was
the first woman to hold the position of full professor at Columbia University’s
Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons.
7. Gertrude Belle Elion (1918-1999)
Gertrude “Trudy” Belle Ellion, an American chemist and Leaders who contributed
to Medicine, earned a Nobel Prize with George H Hitchins and Sir James Black for
pioneering techniques of rational drug design that focused on knowing the
medicine’s target rather than just employing trial and error.
Elion, who comes from a scientific family, was motivated to study medicine after
her grandpa died of cancer when she was 15 and became determined to finding a
treatment for the illness. Utilizing her approach, Elion and her colleagues created
45 patents, including medications to treat leukemia, herpes, and AIDS, as well as
therapies to minimize the body’s rejection of foreign tissue in kidney transplants
between unrelated donors.
8. Gerald Edelman
Gerald Edelman, one of the Leaders who contributed to Medicine graduate of
Ursinus College and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has made
significant discoveries on the structure of antibodies. Edelman recognized that
antibodies adapt to better fit our bodies’ demands as we age, and drew parallels
between that evolution and the evolution of the human brain throughout life.
Edelman is the founder and director of the non-profit organization “The
Neurosciences Institute,” and he received a Nobel Prize for his antibody research.
9. Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)
Rosalind Franklin, a British scientist and Leaders who contributed to Medicine is
most recognized for her work in unraveling the complexity of DNA using x-ray
images. Her discovery of the double helix has resulted in significant improvements
in genetics and contemporary medicine. Franklin also spearheaded groundbreaking
research on the molecular architecture of RNA viruses and Polio.
Franklin had a lifelong interest in science and intended to become a scientist when
he was 15 years old. She overcame her father’s opposition to her pursuing further
study and graduated from Cambridge University in 1941. She worked as a first-rate
scientist for many years, and had it not been for her unexpected death from cancer
in 1958, it is quite possible that she would have received Nobel Prizes in both 1962
and 1982 for work that she had a significant part in during her lifetime.
10. Rosalyn Yalow (1921-2011)
Rosalyn Yalow, an American medical physicist, Leaders who contributed to
Medicine was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine in 1977 for
developing the radioimmunoassays (RIA) technology, which is used to quantify
peptide hormones in the blood. Yalow’s approach was sufficiently accurate that it
was used to screen blood donations for infectious illnesses including HIV and
This was critical in guaranteeing the safety and efficacy of life-saving blood
transfusions. Subsequently, the procedure enabled scientists to demonstrate that
type 2 diabetes is caused by the body’s inability to correctly utilise insulin.
11. Harold E. Varmus
Varmus, one of the world’s best cancer experts and Leaders who contributed to
Medicine, was given the Nobel Prize in 1989 for his discovery of the cellular
origins of retroviral oncogenes, which has been crucial in the battle against cancer.
Varmus is one of three co-chairs of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science
and Technology. He attended Amherst College, Harvard University, and Columbia
University. He also serves on the Council on Foreign Relations and is the head of
the National Cancer Institute.
12. Jack W. Szostak
This Canadian scholar attended McGill University and Cornell University. Szostak
is currently a genetics professor at Harvard Medical School. Szostak and Elizabeth
Blackburn shared the Nobel Prize in 2009 for their discovery of how telomeres
preserve chromosomes. Szostak was also the recipient of the Lasker Award (2006),
the Genetics Society of America Medal, and the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize (2008).
His findings are not restricted to the one for which he received the Nobel Prize. He
is also recognized for creating the world’s first artificial yeast chromosome, and he
played a key role in the Human Genome Project’s success.
13. Tom Maniatis
This American cellular and molecular biology professor attended the University of
Colorado, Vanderbilt, and has many honorary degrees. Maniatis is a biotech
pioneer who has worked with some of the world’s leading biotech businesses,
including co-founding the Genetics Institute. He and Donald D. Brown received
the Lasker-Koshland Exceptional Achievement Award in Medical Science for their
various discoveries that have enhanced the area of biomedical research.
14. Torsten Wiesel
This Swedish medical researcher received the Nobel Prize in 1981 for his findings
into the visual system’s information processing. His insights on sensory processing
advanced the medical sector and our knowledge of the human body by leaps and
bounds. Torsten Weisel attended the Karolinska Institute, a medical school in
His breakthroughs paved the way for the treatment of infantile cataracts and
Strabismus. Wiesel was also given the National Medal of Science in 2005, as well
as the Order of the Rising Sun, Grand Cordon, one of Japan’s highest decorations.
15. Elizabeth Blackburn
This Australian microbiology and immunology researcher co-discovered an
enzyme that protects chromosomes, and the knowledge gained from her research
has given medical researchers a better understanding of aging. It was discovered
that humans age as the protective substance deteriorates and that certain
circumstances cause the substance to deteriorate more quickly. She was awarded
the Nobel Prize for her discovery.
16. Sir Roy Calne
This Leaders who contributed to Medicine is a doctor who pioneered organ
transplantation, performing the first liver transplant in Europe in the 1960s, the
first liver, heart, and lungs transplant in the 1980s, the first intestinal transplant in
England in the 1990s, and the first combined transplant of stomach, liver, kidneys,
and pancreas in 1994. He received the Lasker Award in 2012 for pioneering
transplant medical procedures that have saved thousands of lives.
17. Tu Youyou
This Chinese medical scientist and pharmaceutical chemist received the Lasker
Award in 2011 for her discoveries of artemisinin and dihydroartemisinin, which
are used to treat malaria. It is estimated that her discoveries have saved millions of
lives. You attended Beijing Medical College. She has no postgraduate degree and
is not a member of any of the prestigious Chinese academies.
18. Sir John B. Gurdon
Gurdon is a developmental biologist who pioneered research in cloning and
nuclear transplantation. In 2009, This Leaders who contributed to Medicine
received a Lasker Award, and in 2012, he and Shinya Yaminaka were awarded the
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering that mature cells can be
converted into stem cells. Gurdon studied at Christ Church, Oxford, and has
worked for Cambridge and the California Institute of Technology.
19. Patricia Goldman-Rakic (1937-2003)
Patricia Goldman-Rakic is a neuroscientist known for her studies of the brain,
particularly the frontal lobes and how they relate to memory. She received her
bachelor’s degree in Neurology from Vassar in 1959 and her doctorate in
Developmental Psychology from the University of California in 1963. Her
multidisciplinary research significantly contributed to the understanding of
neurological diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, and her
study of dopa (ADHD).
20. Francoise Barré-Sinoussi (born 1947)
One of the Leaders who contributed to Medicine, Francoise Barré-Sinoussi, a
Parisian scientist, is celebrated for her discovery of HIV as the cause of the
immunodeficiency disease, AIDS. In 2008, Barré and Luc Montaigner discovered
that the HIV retrovirus attacked lymphocytes, a blood cell that plays an important
role in the body’s immune system. Her vital work has helped millions of HIV-
positive people live long, healthy lives, and could pave the way for a cure in the
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