Molecular biology is a field that has been beneficial to mankind for a very long time. Through the discovery of diseases, finding their cures and much more, molecular biologists have served humanity for centuries. When it comes to serving humanity, women have always matched steps with men. Whether it’s French writer Simone de Beauvoir laying the foundation for the modern feminist movement, or Angela Davis dedicating her life to advocate for the oppressed, women have never been any less.
So, in this blog, we’ll be discussing some women who have greatly impacted the scientific community with their efforts. While we’re always here to provide you with molecular biology products, this blog will focus on some women who gained immense recognition for their services in the field of molecular biology. Let’s start!
Women Who Gained Immense Recognition In The Field Of Molecular Biology
Rosalind Franklin had wanted to be a scientist since she was 15 years old. She went to North London Collegiate School and Newnham College, where she studied chemistry and received second class honors in the finals, which led to her being awarded a bachelor’s degree in 1941. Following that, she worked as an assistant research officer at the British Coal Utilization Research Association, where she wrote a thesis on coal porosity in 1945.
She began working at the Laboratoire Central des Services Chimiques de l’Etat in Paris in 1946. She moved to Birkbeck College after leaving King’s College in 1953 on the condition that she would no longer work on DNA. Franklin published 17 papers on viruses based on her research on the structure of tobacco mosaic virus and the structure of RNA in five years, effectively laying the groundwork for structural virology. (G Scientific)
Lederberg enrolled at Hunter College near the end of the Great Depression with the intention of studying literature or French but switched to science. While pursuing her master’s degree, Lederberg worked as a teaching assistant at Stanford, earning so little that she and her colleagues had to eat frog legs left over from dissections. She received her doctorate from the University of Wisconsin.
During her research, she discovered the lambda bacteriophage, a virus that lives in E.coli and instead of killing the host, mingles their DNA with the host’s DNA. She created a laboratory technique called replica plating with her husband, Joshua Lederberg. Lederberg’s discoveries on bacteria mutation earned her the Nobel Prize in 1958. She was the director of Stanford’s plasmid reference center from 1976 to 1985.
Nettie Maria Stevens
Stevens studied at State Normal School (Westfield State College) from 1881 to 1883. She graduated from Stanford University with a BA in 1899 and an MA in 1900. Her doctoral studies in biology at Bryn Mawr College included a year of study at the Naples Zoological Station and the University of Wurzburg’s Zoological Institute in 1901. Her early research interests included ciliate protozoa morphology and taxonomy.
She studied cytology and regenerative processes with Thomas Hunt Morgan, which led to research on embryo differentiation and chromosomes. The researchers also discovered supernumerary chromosomes in insects, as well as paired state chromosomes in flies and mosquitoes. (G Scientific)
Elizabeth H. Blackburn
Elizabeth H.Blackburn, who was born in 1948 in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, was a biochemistry major with an honors degree at the University of Melbourne. At the time, Frank Hird, Chair of the Biochemistry Department, offered her a position as a Master’s student in his research laboratory, where she studied the biochemistry of amino acid metabolism.
As a PhD student at Cambridge, Blackburn sequenced regions of the bacteriophage phI x174, a small single-stranded DNA bacteriophage. In 1975, Blackburn relocated to San Francisco, California, where she received her first NIH grant to conduct genetic research in the Department of Biochemistry. At the University of California, Berkeley, she eventually established her own laboratory.
To Wrap Up:
As Milka Duno says, When you put the helmet on, it doesn’t matter if you are a woman or man: your mission is to compete to win. These were the women who were competent enough to make a name for themselves while also playing their role in the betterment of the world. To read more interesting information, you can scroll through our blog section. Also, if you’re looking for molecular biology products like aluminum sealing films, filter tips, pipettes, etc, MBPINC has got you covered.