Celebrating Women in Pharmacy–Gertrude Elion

In honor of Women’s History Month, we will be posting a few short snippets about women in pharmacy periodically throughout March 2015. We start with Gertrude B. Elion, an American pharmacologist and biochemist.

download (3)Elion is most famous for her scientific discovery of the drugs needed to treat leukemia and herpes. She also discovered the drugs necessary to prevent the rejection of kidney transplants. Her worked earned her Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1988 which she shared with George H. Hitchings, her long-time boss and collaborator at Burroughs-Wellcome, and also Sir James W. Black.

She is quoted as saying: “Don’t be afraid of hard work. Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Don’t let others discourage you or tell you that you can’t do it. In my day I was told women didn’t go into chemistry. I saw no reason why we couldn’t.” 

Contributed by: Dr. Susan M. Gardner, Assistant Professor & Assistant Dean for Professional and Student Affairs (Course Coordinator for PHAR 546: History of Pharmacy)

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