Slideshow: Women Nobel Prize Winners in Science

by Liz Olson

The Nobel Prize for Science has been awarded since 1901 to people who have made outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology, or medicine. Marie Curie was the first women to win the Nobel Prize for Science, in 1903. Follow the slideshow to learn more about the women whose research has had a profound effect on the advancement of science and earned them the honor of Nobel Laureate.

Marie Sklodowska Curie
Marie Sklodowska Curie
Nobel Prize in Physics, 1903 and Chemistry, 1911
Marie Curie is considered the most famous of all women scientists. She was the only woman ever to win two Nobel Prizes. Prohibited from higher education in her native Poland (then controlled by Russia), she moved to Paris in 1891 and studied at the Sorbonne. In 1903 her discovery of radioactivity earned her the Nobel Prize in physics. In 1911, she won it for chemistry.






Irene Curie
Irene Curie
Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1935
Irene Curie was the daughter of Marie Curie. She furthered her mother's work in radioactivity and won the Nobel Prize for discovering that radioactivity could be artificially produced.
Gerty Radnitz Cori
Gerty Radnitz Cori
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1947
Gerty Cori studied enzymes and hormones, and her work brought researchers closer to understanding diabetes. She won the Nobel Prize for discovering the enzymes that convert glycogen into sugar and back again to glycogen.
Photo source: D.H.H.S.
Barbara McClintock
Barbara McClintock
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1983
Barbara McClintock studied the chromosomes in corn (maize) and her work uncovered antibiotic-resistant bacteria and a possible cure for African sleeping sickness.
Maria Goeppert Mayer
Maria Goeppert Mayer
Nobel Prize in Physics, 1963
Maria Goeppert Mayer researched the structure of atomic nuclei. During World War II she worked on isotope separation for the atomic bomb project.
Rita Levi-Montalicini
Rita Levi-Montalicini
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1986
An Italian neuroembryologist, Rita is known for her co-discovery in 1954 of nerve growth factor, a previously unknown protein that stimulates the growth of nerve cells and plays a role in degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease.
Photo source: National Library of Medicine
Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin
Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin
Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1964
Dorothy discovered the structures of penicillin and vitamin B(12). She won the Nobel Prize for determining the structure of biochemical compounds essential to combating pernicious anemia.
Photo source: Library of Congress
Rosalyn Sussman Yalow
Rosalyn Sussman Yalow
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1977
Rosayln Yalow won the Nobel Prize for developing radioimmunoassay, a test of body tissues that uses radioactive isotopes to measure the concentrations of hormones, viruses, vitamins, enzymes, and drugs.
Photo source: Library of Congress
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1995
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard won the Nobel Prize using the fruit fly to help explain birth defects in humans.
Photo source: Rama
Linda Buck
Linda Buck
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2004
Buck and fellow American Richard Axel discovered how the olfactory system—the sense of smell—works and how people are able to recognize and remember more than 10,000 odors.
Photo source: Roland Morgan
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