Gertrude Belle Elion

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by schidern
Last updated 8 years ago

Scientific Biographies

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Gertrude Belle Elion

The reason for Gertrude to go into chemistry and eventually pharmacology, was because of her grandfather died of cancer, and she wanted to find a cure for the disease. Gertrude graduated from Hunter College with a BS in chemistry. Ended up working as an assistant because it was very hard to find a job as a chemist being a woman because many labs refused to hire a woman. Started working with George Hitchings, where she thrived. She served on many different committees, organizations, and societies over her years working all of which involved the diseases she was creating drugs for. She won the Nobel Prize with her colleague and mentor George Hitchings and Sir James Black.


Created these drugs-6-mercaptopurine (Purinethol), the first treatment for leukemia and used in organ transplantation.-Azathioprine (Imuran), the first immuno-suppressive agent, used for organ transplants.-Allopurinol (Zyloprim), for gout.-Pyrimethamine (Daraprim), for malaria.-Trimethoprim (Septra), for meningitis, septicemia, and bacterial infections of the urinary and respiratory tracts.-Acyclovir (Zovirax), for viral herpes.-Nelarabine for cancer treatment

What if...

What if Gertrude's grandfather never died of cancer? Would these drugs still be here?





1918 - Gertrude was born1937 - graduated Hunter College with BS in chemistry1941 - graduated New York University with a Master in Science in chemistry1944 - started working with Dr. George Hitchings1967 - appointed to Head of Department of Experimental Therapy 1988- recieved Nobel Prize 1999 - Gertrude died

Gertrude BelleElionbiochemist and pharmacologistborn: January 23, 1918died: Feburary 11, 1999

-One of 10 women to win a Nobel Prize in science-One of very few to win without doctorate-First woman to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame


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