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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 16 (2011) pp 222-231

Rosalyn Sussman Yalow (19212011), Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine: An Obituary-Tribute

George B. Kauffman

Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034,

Published: 23 September 2011

Abstract. Rosalyn S. Yalow (19172011), a medical physicist who was only the second woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, died at the age of 89 on May 30, 2011 in the Bronx, New York City, where she had spent all but three and a half years of her life. She had been partially disabled from a series of small strokes. At the time of her death she was Senior Medical Investigator Emerita at the Bronx Veterans Medical Center and the Solomon A. Berson Distinguished Professor at Large at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. This obituary-tribute discusses her life and career with emphasis on her collaboration with Solomon A. Berson on the technique of radioimmunoassy, which revolutionized the field of hormone research and has found a multitude of applications. Her achievements in the face of gender bias and anti-Semitism is a cautionary tale about the price to be paid by women who wish to pursue a career in science.

Key Words: Chemistry and History; history of chemistry; history of physiology; history of medicine; biography; nobel prize; nuclear physics; anti-semitism; gender bias; feminism; veterans administration; medical research; hormones; antigens; antibodies; radioimmunoassay; insulin; pharmacology; women in science; scientific mentors

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