Category: women in stem

Emma
Vyssotsky
(1894-1975) was
an astronomer, working for the McCormick Observatory in Virginia. She
specialised in the kinematics of the Milky Way and the motion of stars.

She studied
astronomy at Harvard, obtaining her PhD in 1930. In 1946 she received the Annie
J. Cannon Award from the American Astronomical Society.

Tebello
Nyokong
(b. 1951) is one
of the most influential and accomplished scientists in South Africa. She is a
chemist whose research focuses on photo-dynamic therapy, an alternative cancer
treatment to chemotherapy.

She studied chemistry and biology, and obtained her PhD from the
University of Western Ontario in 1987. She is a professor at Rhodes University,
and has won numerous awards for her work, such as the Order of Mapungubwe or
the South African Chemical Institute Gold Medal.

Charlotte
Moore Sitterly
(1898-1990)
was an astronomer who worked for Princeton University as a human computer. She is
best known for her research in spectroscopic studies of the Sun.

Initially a
mathematician, she discovered a passion for astronomy and started working at
the Mount Wilson Observatory. Her tables of atomic spectra remain essential
references in spectroscopy. She was the first women elected to the Royal
Astronomical Society of Great Britain in 1931.

Maria
Bitner-Glindzicz
 (1963-2018)
was a medical doctor specialised in clinical genetics, and professor of human
and molecular genetics at the UCL Institute of Child Health. Her research focused
on the genetic causes of deafness in children.

She obtained her
medical degree from UCL in 1987, and went on to work as a researcher at the
same institution. Her work was crucial in identifying several genes responsible
for causing deafness, and led to more comprehensive diagnosis and the opening
of specialist clinics around London.

Tomoko Ohta (b. 1933) is a Japanses scientist,
working in the field of evolutionary biology genetics. She is known as a pioneer
of genetic polymorphism, and the proponent of the nearly neutral theory of
evolution.

She studied agriculture in Tokyo, after which she moved to
the United States and obtained her PhD from North Carolina State University in
1966. She worked for the Japanese National Institute of Genetics and was later
accepted into the United States National Academy of Sciences as a foreign
associate in evolutionary biology.

Anna Lee Fisher (b. 1949) is a former NASA astronaut, chemist and physician. She was
involved in several important programmes, including the International Space
Station and the Space Shuttle.

She studied chemisty and medicine at UCLA,
specialising in emergency medicine. She started training to be an astronaut in
1978 and had her first flight in 1984, on the Space Shuttle Discovery. Her
awards include the NASA Space Flight Medal and the UCLA Professional
Achievement Award.

Sarah Frances Whiting (1847-1927) was an astronomer and physicist. She was the instructor
of several other scientists, including the famous Annie Jump Cannon.

She studied at Ingham University, and was
appointed as the first professor of physics at Wellesley College in 1875. She
started teaching astronomy five years later. She helped establish the Whitin
Laboratory and became its first director in 1900.

Margaret Morgan Lawrence (b. 1914) is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst whose research focuses
on children and their mental health. She was the chief of the Developmental Psychiatry
Service for Infants and Children at Harlem Hospital for more than two decades.

She studied at Cornell University, where she was
the only African American students and was refused a place in the
race-segregated dormitory. She was then rejected from Cornell Medical School because
of her race, and went on to study at Columbia College. In 1948 she joined the
New York State Psychiatric Institute, the first African American to do so. She later
co-founded the Rockland County Center for Mental Health and the Harlem Family
Institute.

Lydia Villa-Komaroff (b. 1947) is a Mexican-American molecular biologist. She is a founding member of SACNAS, The Society
for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science.

She completed her PhD in cell biology at MIT in 1975, and later was part
of the team that discovered how bacteria could generate insulin. In 1996 she
started working for Northwestern Unviersity and became its Vice President for
Research.

Martha Vaughan (1926-2018) was a biochemist working for the National Heart Lung and
Blood Institute. She was an emeritus scientist in the Laboratory of Metabollic
Regulation, and her work focused on cellular regulation and lipid metabolism.

She graduated from the Yale School of
Medicine and went on to become the senior assistant surgeon in the laboratory
of Christian Afinsen, who won the 1972 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. She was a
member of the National Academy of Sciences and of its Committee on Human
Rights.