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Gertrude B. Elion

Biochemist and Drug Researcher Gertrude B. Elion

Profession: Biochemist and Drug Researcher

United States of America

Biography: Gertrude B. Elion was the daughter of immigrants and struggled to find work as a female scientist early in her career.

From 1944 she worked at the Burroughs Wellcome Laboratories developing new drugs alongside George H. Hitchings. They used innovative new research techniques, comparing differences in cells and diseases.

The new drugs they developed included the first treatment for leukemia, drugs for gout, malaria, viral herpes and to treat autoimmune disorders, vital for organ transplants.

In 1988, Elion along with Hitching and Sir James W. Black received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

After her official retirement Elion was instrumental in the development of azidothymidine (AZT), the first drug to treat AIDS

Born: January 23, 1918
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Snake
Star Sign: Aquarius

Died: February 21, 1999 (aged 81)

Historical Events

  • 1998-12-10 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine presented to Gertrude B. Elion, George H. Hitchings and James W. Black for development of new drugs

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