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Madeleine Brès

Madeleine Alexandrine Brès, born on 26 November 1842 in Bouillarges, was a pioneering French female physician who made significant contributions to medicine and women’s rights. She is renowned as the first French woman to obtain a medical degree in 1875, marking a groundbreaking achievement in the field of healthcare. Brès dedicated her career to pediatric care, focusing particularly on the vital topic of breastfeeding.

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Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard

Christiane (Janni) Nüsslein-Volhard is a renowned German developmental biologist who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1995. She holds the distinction of being the only woman from Germany to have received a Nobel Prize in the sciences.

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Nina Strokata Karavanska

Nina Antonovna Karavanska (née Strokata; January 31, 1926 – August 2, 1998) was a Ukrainian dissident, Soviet microbiologist, and immunologist. She was a member of the dissident movement in the USSR, a co-founder of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group, and one of the leading human rights activists in Odesa during the Soviet period. Karavanska was also a distinguished scientist, authoring about 23 scientific papers in the field of clinical microbiology and immunology.

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Lubna Tahtamouni

Lubna Hamid Tawfiq Tahtamouni is a renowned Jordanian biologist known for her significant contributions in developmental biology and cancer research. She currently serves as the head of the Department of Biology and Biotechnology at Hashemite University in Zarqa, Jordan. Tahtamouni’s remarkable work on breast cancer and her advocacy for women in science have made her a prominent figure in the scientific community.

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Olga Guramishvili-Nikoladze

Olga Guramishvili-Nikoladze was a pioneering Georgian biologist and educator. She was one of the first Georgian women to study abroad, earning a degree in pedagogy. Guramishvili founded a girls’ school and a women’s gymnasium in Didi Jikhaishi, where she introduced sericulture and taught mechanical knitting and weaving. Her contributions to education and women’s rights left a lasting impact on Georgian society.

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Dominican RepublicBiologist

Idelisa Bonnelly

Idelisa Bonnelly de Calventi, known as the “mother of marine conservation in the Caribbean,” was a Dominican marine biologist. She founded the study of biology in the Dominican Republic and played a key role in the creation of the first Humpback Whale Sanctuary in the North Atlantic. Her contributions to marine conservation earned her numerous awards and recognition.

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Kono Yasui

Kono Yasui, a Japanese biologist and cytologist, made groundbreaking contributions to science and paved the way for female scientists in Japan. Her passion for learning and pursuit of knowledge led her to become the first woman to enter a graduate course at the Women’s Higher Normal School. Despite facing barriers and restrictions, Yasui conducted research abroad and earned a doctoral degree, leaving a lasting impact on the field of biology.

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Martha Rojas Urrego

Martha Rojas Urrego is a renowned biologist, ecologist, and humanitarian who has dedicated her life to advocating for gender equality and environmental conservation. Born in Colombia, she is also a French national, embodying a truly global perspective in her work.

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Ana Aslan

Ana Aslan was a Romanian biologist and physician known for her groundbreaking research in the field of gerontology. She developed the drug Gerovital (H3) to combat the effects of aging and conducted extensive research to prove its efficacy. Her work challenged prevailing notions about aging and improved the quality of life for older individuals. Ana Aslan’s contributions to medicine make her an influential figure in women’s history.

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Rita Levi-Montalcini

Rita Levi-Montalcini was an Italian neurobiologist known for her groundbreaking discoveries in the field of neuroscience. She overcame discrimination and established a laboratory in her bedroom during World War II to continue her research. Levi-Montalcini’s most significant contribution was the discovery of nerve growth factor, for which she received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Her scientific achievements, along with her dedication to public service, have made her an iconic figure in women’s history and scientific discovery.

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Freda Bage

Anna Frederika (Freda) Bage was an Australian biologist, university professor, principal, and women’s activist. She paved the way for women’s education at The Women’s College, University of Queensland, where she served as the first principal for 32 years. Bage’s outstanding contributions in the field of biology, her leadership skills, and dedication to women’s rights left a lasting impact on academia in Australia. Her legacy continues to inspire women in their pursuit of knowledge and success.

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Nagima Aitkhozhina

Nagima Aitkhozhina was a Kazakh biologist who specialized in molecular biology. She made significant contributions to the study of the structural and functional organization of genomes and the molecular mechanisms of gene expression regulation. Aitkhozhina’s dedication to scientific research and leadership in academic institutions have left a lasting impact on the field of molecular biology.

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Nicole Marthe Le Douarin

Nicole Marthe Le Douarin, born in 1930 in Lorient, France, is a renowned developmental biologist known for her groundbreaking studies on chimeras. Her innovative techniques and discoveries have shed light on the development of complex systems in higher animals. Le Douarin’s passion for research and her determination to overcome challenges have made her a respected scientist in the field of developmental biology.

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Margarete Zuelzer

Margarete Hedwig Zuelzer was a German biologist and zoologist who defied societal norms by pursuing a career in science. Despite facing numerous challenges as a woman, she earned her doctorate and made significant contributions to the field of protozoology. However, her career was cut short by the discriminatory policies of Nazi Germany, and she tragically died in the Westerbork Transit Camp during the Holocaust. Her story serves as a reminder of the injustice and devastation caused by this dark period in history.

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Emmanuelle Charpentier

Emmanuelle Marie Charpentier was born on December 11, 1968, in Juvisy-sur-Orge, France. She is a renowned French professor and researcher in microbiology, genetics, and biochemistry. Charpentier’s groundbreaking work in the field of genome editing has propelled her to the forefront of scientific research and earned her numerous accolades.

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United StatesArcherBiologist

Marlene Zuk

Marlene Zuk, an American evolutionary biologist and behavioral ecologist, has made significant contributions to our understanding of evolutionary biology. Her groundbreaking research on sexual selection and parasites has shed light on the intricate relationships between organisms and their environments. Not only has Zuk’s work had a profound impact on the field, but she has also been an advocate for gender equality in science, challenging the notion that women are underrepresented due to innate preferences. Her dedication to scientific integrity and her commitment to advancing the role of women in science have cemented her place as a prominent figure in evolutionary biology.

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Great BritainArcherBiologist

Gina Rippon

Gina Rippon is a British neurobiologist and feminist who has dedicated her career to studying brain processes and their connection to behavior. Her research challenges the traditional notion of a “female brain” and emphasizes the role of both biology and societal influences in shaping gender-specific behaviors. Rippon’s groundbreaking book, “Gendered Brain: The New Neuroscience that Shatters the Myth of the Female Brain,” has received positive reviews for its exploration of brain development and its relationship to gender. She has also been critical of misleading neuroscientific claims and advocates for critical analysis in the field.

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Lynne Quarmby

Lynne Quarmby is a Canadian scientist, activist, and politician. She is currently serving as a professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Quarmby has made significant contributions to the field of molecular biology and her research has focused on understanding the signals and mechanisms of deflagellation, the process by which cells shed their cilia into the environment.

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Flossie Wong-Staal

Flossie Wong-Staal, born Wong Yee Ching on August 27, 1946, in Guangzhou, China, was a Chinese-American virologist and molecular biologist who made groundbreaking contributions to the understanding of HIV and AIDS. Her pioneering work in cloning HIV and determining the function of its genes played a vital role in establishing HIV as the definitive cause of AIDS.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanBiochemist

Ida Stephens Owens

Ida Stephens Owens, a trailblazing American scientist, overcame adversity to become one of the first African Americans to receive a doctorate from Duke University. Her groundbreaking research on drug-detoxifying enzymes at the National Institutes of Health has left an indelible mark on the field of biomedical research. Owens’ unwavering commitment and contributions continue to inspire future generations.

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United StatesAerospace EngineerBiologist

Lois Graham

Lois Graham (1925-2013) was a pioneering professor of thermodynamics and cryogenics. She was the first woman in the United States to earn a mechanical engineering PhD and dedicated her career to recruiting young women into science and engineering. Graham founded IIT’s Women in Science and Engineering program and taught for nearly four decades, leaving behind a lasting legacy of empowerment and progress.

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Saudi ArabiaActivistBiologist

Loujain al-Hathloul

Loujain al-Hathloul is a Saudi women’s rights activist who has been at the forefront of the fight for gender equality in Saudi Arabia. Despite facing arrests and detentions, she remains resilient in her mission to defy the ban on women driving and challenge the male guardianship system. Recognized globally for her activism, al-Hathloul has received numerous awards and nominations, including the 2019 PEN America/Barbey Freedom to Write Award and being named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2019”.

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SwedenUnited StatesAstronaut

Jessica Meir

Jessica Ulrika Meir is an American NASA astronaut, marine biologist, and physiologist. Her passion for exploration and science was evident from an early age. Meir’s interest in space and nature was sparked by watching the Space Shuttle missions on television. She pursued postdoctoral research in comparative physiology at the University of British Columbia, delving into the intriguing world of diving physiology and behavior of emperor penguins in Antarctica. This research allowed her to unveil the secrets of these incredible creatures and shed light on their adaptations to extreme aquatic environments. Meir’s talent and expertise were further recognized when she participated in ESA CAVES, a training course where international astronauts undertake missions in a space-analogue cave environment. On September 25, 2019, Meir’s dream culminated in her launch to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard Soyuz MS-15. She served as a Flight Engineer during Expeditions 61 and 62, conducting critical experiments, carrying out maintenance tasks, and contributing to the overall success of the missions. One of the most significant milestones in Meir’s career occurred on October 18, 2019, when she and Christina Koch made history as the first women to participate in an all-female spacewalk. Meir’s remarkable contributions have earned her numerous accolades and recognition, including being named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.

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Moremi Ajasoro

Moremi Ajasoro, a legendary Yoruba queen, played a crucial role in liberating the Yoruba kingdom of Ife from the neighboring Ugbo Kingdom in 12th-century Nigeria. Her bravery and sacrifice have made her a revered figure in Yoruba history, inspiring generations with her commitment to justice and freedom.

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Puerto RicoBiologistDoctor

Antonia Novello

Antonia Coello Novello, M.D., was born on August 23, 1944, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. She grew up in a humble household, where her father worked as a sugar cane plantation worker and her mother was a homemaker. From a young age, Novello showed exceptional intelligence and a deep passion for helping others. Her parents encouraged her to pursue education, which they believed was the key to a better future.

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AustraliaUnited StatesBiologist

Andrea Marshall

Andrea Marshall is a marine biologist known for her pioneering research and efforts in wildlife conservation, particularly in the study of large marine animals like manta rays and whale sharks.

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Dení Ramírez Macías, Ph.D.

Dení Ramírez Macías, Ph.D., is a Mexican marine biologist, ocean scientist, and conservationist. She is widely recognized for her expertise in whale shark research and conservation. Throughout her career, Ramírez has made significant contributions to the understanding and protection of these magnificent creatures.

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United StatesBiologistGolfer

Patty Sheehan

Patty Sheehan, born on October 27, 1956, is an American professional golfer who has left an indelible mark on the sport. With a career spanning over three decades, Sheehan became a member of the LPGA Tour in 1980 and went on to achieve remarkable success, winning six major championships and 35 LPGA Tour events in total. Today, she is recognized as one of the all-time greats of women’s golf and is a member of the prestigious World Golf Hall of Fame.

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South KoreaBiologistPhysicist

Kwang Hwa Chung

Kwang Hwa Chung is a South Korean physicist who has made significant contributions to physics and women’s representation in STEM. She has served as the president of the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science and the president of the Institute for Basic Science. Chung’s dedication to gender equality extended beyond advocacy, as she established a daycare center in Daedeok Innopolis to support working women. Her pioneering work and advocacy have left an indelible impact on South Korea’s scientific community.

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United StatesActivistBiologist

Alice Paul

Alice Stokes Paul was a prominent American Quaker, suffragist, feminist, and women’s rights activist. Known for her exceptional leadership skills and unwavering determination, she played a pivotal role in the campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Paul’s influential work helped secure the right to vote for women and laid the foundation for future advancements in gender equality.

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United StatesArcherBiologist

Jewel Plummer Cobb

Jewel Plummer Cobb was an American biologist and cancer researcher who made significant contributions to the field of cancer research, particularly in studying the cure for melanoma. She was also a passionate advocate for increasing the representation of women and students of color in universities, creating programs to support underrepresented students. Her legacy as a pioneering biologist, cancer researcher, and advocate for diversity and inclusion continues to inspire generations of students.

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United StatesAfrican AmericanArcher

Ruth Ella Moore

Ruth Ella Moore, born in Columbus, Ohio in 1903, was a pioneering American bacteriologist and microbiologist. She became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in a natural science in 1933. Moore’s groundbreaking research on tuberculosis made significant contributions to the understanding and control of the disease. Throughout her career, she served as a mentor and inspiration to aspiring scientists, particularly African-American women. Her legacy as a trailblazer in her field continues to inspire future generations.

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United StatesAstronautBiologist

Kathleen Rubins

Kathleen Hallisey Rubins is an American microbiologist and NASA astronaut. She has had a significant impact on space exploration and serves as a role model for women in science. Rubins became the 60th woman to fly in space when she launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on July 7, 2016. After spending three and a half months in space, she returned to Earth in Kazakhstan on October 30, 2016.

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United StatesAstronautBiologist

Millie Hughes-Fulford

Millie Hughes-Fulford (1945-2021) was a pioneering American medical investigator, molecular biologist, and NASA payload specialist. Her groundbreaking mission aboard STS-40 Spacelab Life Sciences (SLS 1) in 1991 marked her as the first female payload specialist in orbit and the first representative of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs in space. Hughes-Fulford’s exceptional achievements and dedication to scientific exploration have inspired generations of women in STEM fields.

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United StatesBiologist

Ruth Turner

Ruth Dixon Turner (1914 – April 30, 2000) was a pioneering U.S. marine biologist and malacologist. She dedicated her life to studying and understanding shipworms, a taxonomic family of wood-boring bivalve mollusks that wreak havoc on wooden marine installations. Turner’s expertise in this field was unparalleled, earning her the distinguished title of the world’s foremost expert on Teredinidae.

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United StatesBiologist

Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Alice Earle, an American marine biologist, has dedicated her life to understanding and protecting the world’s oceans. As the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, she has broken gender barriers and made significant contributions to ocean conservation. Earle’s immense influence on environmental activism and her captivating books have inspired countless individuals to preserve our planet’s most precious resource.

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Erika Lopez

Erika Lopez, a renowned Marine Conservationist and Island Sanctuary Protector, has dedicated her life to conserving and protecting the flora and fauna sanctuary of Malpelo. Through her partnerships with the Colombian Navy and Colombian National Parks, Erika has mobilized resources and raised awareness about the critical need to preserve the biodiversity hotspot. Her establishment of the Tropical East Pacific Marine Corridor and her passion for diving have made a lasting impact on marine conservation efforts.

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