Some phenomenal female scientists (non-WiSE Wednesday blog posts on female scientists)

WiSE Wednesdays

Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) often don't get the recognition they deserve. To help rectify this situation, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL)'s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) group helps shine light on contemporary and historical women in STEM through weekly "WiSE Wednesday." I was Social Media Chair for WiSE for several years and one of the best parts was getting to write these pieces, which were originally published on WiSE's website. Although I'm not in that role anymore, I continue to share the stories of female scientists on my blog.

WiSE Wednesday posts

Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) often don't get the recognition they deserve. To help rectify this situation, Cold […]

Nina Chhita

“Science” and “art” are often portrayed as “opposites” but Nina Chhita brings them together, producing beautiful illustrations to draw attention […]

Roberta Colman

Biochemist Roberta (Bobbie) F. Colman (1938-2019) passed away at the end of 2019, and while you might have missed the […]

Lizabeth Allison

If you want to learn about molecular biology, Dr. Lizabeth Allison is a good person to turn to – she […]

Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Elsie Franklin was born in London, England July 25, 1920 and despite a tragically short life (she died in […]

Christina Koch

Astronaut and electrical engineer Christina Koch went for a dramatic finish to 2019 – on December 28, her 289th day […]

Molly Gale Hammell

This WiSE Wednesday we honor the 2019 WiSE faculty mentor awardee, computational biologist and Associate Professor Dr. Molly Gale Hammell […]

Lucy Wills

In the early 1920s, hematologist Lucy Wills studied a blood disorder called prenatal macrocytic anemia, which was causing impoverished pregnant […]

Virginia Man-Yee Lee

If you watched the Breakthrough Prize (sometimes called the “Oscars for scientists”) last weekend – Dr. Virginia Man-Yee Lee likely […]

Ilona Banga

Ilona Banga was a Hungarian biochemist who co-discovered actomyosin – the actin/myosin combo that allows muscles to contract so you […]

Malika Jeffries-EL

Dr. Malika Jeffries-EL is a Professor of Chemistry at Boston University, performing exciting work developing organic semiconductors. Semiconductors are a […]

Jackie Giovanniello

We’re so thrilled to announce that WiSE co-founder Jacqueline (Jackie) Giovanniello – ahem – I mean DOCTOR Jackie Giovanniello is […]

Barbara Low

Barbara Low (1920-2019). Earlier this year, the scientific community lost one of its trailblazing female crystallographers, Dr. Barbara Low, who […]

Berta Karlik

Berta Karlik (1904-1990). When you think of female scientists and early research on radioactivity, you probably think of Marie Curie […]

Susan Taylor

Biochemist Dr. Susan Taylor, a Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) is […]

Ann Nelson

We were saddened to hear about the tragic accidental death of theoretical particle physicist and University of Washington Professor Dr. […]

Mary Anning

Paleontologist Mary Anning was born in Lyme Regis, England in 1799. This region of England is part of what’s been […]

Vanessa Sanders

Radiochemist Dr. Vanessa Sanders is an assistant scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) who studies how different versions of chemicals […]

Carol Robinson

Chemist Dame Carol Robinson is President of the Royal Society of Chemistry and was recently (July 2019) awarded the Royal […]

Sharon Haynie

Chemist Sharon Haynie has devoted her career to serving the world and her local communities through science, developing materials that […]

Poppy Northcutt

People are all a-Buzz about the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that put a man on the moon. […]

Camille Schrier

Camille Schrier is expanding the reach of science communication (“scicomm”) to an unexpected place – beauty pageants! This biochemistry student […]

Edith Widder

If you were recently captivated by a mesmerizing video of a giant squid (only the second filmed in its natural […]

Pat Pukkila

Patricia (Pat) Pukkila. It’s not just graduate students and post-grad scientists that can contribute to scientific discovery, and it’s not […]

Elisa Izaurralde

Hundreds of scientists recently hailed from around the world to attend Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s 84th Symposium, this year centered […]

Christine Bear

Christine Bear is a senior scientist and co-director of the SickKids Cystic Fibrosis Center in Toronto, Canada and a Professor […]

Jennifer Doudna

It is so important for scientists to be willing and able to communicate their scientific findings to the general public, […]

Maria Jasin

Molecular and developmental biologist Maria Jasin studies DNA repair and how the process is affected in certain cancers, and was […]

Mary Jane Osborn

Mary Jane Osborn (September 24, 1927 – January 17, 2019). Early this year, the biochemistry and microbiology communities mourned the […]

Marion B. Sewer

Do you ever hear about a scholarship named after someone and focus on the money rather than the namesake? Well, […]

Martha Annie Whiteley

English Chemist Martha Annie Whiteley (1866-1956) campaigned for women to be admitted to London’s Chemical Society (the precursor to the […]

Noreen Elizabeth Murray

Molecular geneticist Lady Noreen Elizabeth Murray helped kick-start the genetic engineering revolution, studying how to cut and paste DNA and […]

Joanne Power and Elena Gómez-Díaz

World Malaria Day is April 25. Malaria is a parasitic infection that kills close to half a million people a […]

Doreen Ware (update!)

Congratulations to computational plant geneticist Dr. Doreen Ware for her promotion to Adjunct Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL)! […]

Christine Dunham

Biochemist Christine Dunham studies protein synthesis as an Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the Emory School of Medicine. I had […]

Agnes Pockels

Talk about kitchen chemistry! Agnes Pockels was never formally trained as a scientist, but she turned dishwashing observations into influential […]

Karen Uhlenbeck

Mathematician Karen Uhlenbeck has spent her life uniting math and physics and the international community is now uniting to recognize […]

Tsuneko Okazaki

If you’ve taken a molecular biology class, the name “Okazaki” might sound familiar to you. Together with her husband Reiji, […]

Hyat Sindi

Biotechnologist Dr. Hyat Sindi has dedicated her life to providing biomedical resources to those in need – and by resources, […]

Ana Anderson

Last week, we had the honor of hosting Dr. Ana Anderson as a McClintock lecturer. Dr. Anderson is a cancer […]

Keiko Torii

Ever wondered how plant cells talk to each other? Plant developmental biologist Dr. Keiko Torii has! And last week we […]

Namandjé Bumpus

Many life-saving drugs, including those used to treat HIV & hepatitis, can have side effects that themselves can be life-threatening. […]

Agnes Kalibata

Agnes Matilda Kalibata is a Rwandan agricultural scientist and policymaker credited with helping lead an agricultural transformation in Rwanda as […]

Li-Huei Tsai

Neuroscientist Li-Huei Tsai is Director of the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT. One of her many projects […]

Elizabeth Ainsworth

When it comes to climate change, much of the focus is on temperature, but there are other important changes happening […]

Flossie Wong-Staal

Virologist and molecular biologist Dr. Flossie Wong-Staal was the first person to clone and sequence a virus of the type […]

Anita Corbett

January is National Mentorship Month. Mentoring is an often-underappreciated aspect of being a good scientist. Scientists rarely receive training in […]

Ethaline Cortelyou

Still looking for a New Year’s resolution? Skip the body-shaming and instead choose to help empower women by contributing to […]

Nancy Grace Roman

In the excitement of the holidays, it might have been easy to miss the death of a scientific powerhouse, astronomer […]

Marguerite Perey

In 1939, French radiochemist Marguerite Perey discovered francium, the last naturally occurring element to be found, in 1939 while working […]

Elaine Fuchs

Last Thursday we had the honor of hosting cell biologist Elaine Fuchs as a McClintock lecturer. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory […]

Nancy Hopkins

Today, MIT professor emeritus Dr. Nancy Hopkins is giving a special seminar at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), “Reflecting on […]

Medeva Ghee

A new group at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), DIAS (the Diversity Initiative for the Advancement of STEM), held its […]

Donna Nelson

Donna Nelson is a talented organic chemist in her own right, but she is better known for drawing evidence-backed attention […]

Doreen Ware

Are you aware of the work of Doreen Ware? Each fall, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory holds an In-House Symposium, where […]

Angelika Amon

Austrian-American cell biologist Angelika Amon received a 2019 Breakthrough Award in Life Sciences (the so-called “Oscars” of the science world […]

Janet Newman

This week’s #WiSEWednesday honoree needs your help! Crystallography is sometimes described as a sort of “magic” because crystals often form […]

Jane Richardson

Jane Richardson invented the ribbon representation for protein structures and wins the award for most times honored with a WiSE […]

Elizabeth Roboz Einstein

Elizabeth Roboz-Einstein (1904-1995) was a pioneer in the field of neurochemistry who identified a key component of the coating called […]

Lital Chartarifsky

This WiSE Wednesday, we’re thrilled to bring you a profile of our very own DOCTOR Lital Chartarifsky – on Friday […]

Donna Strickland

While still in grad school at the University of Rochester, optical physicist (and now Nobel Laurette) Donna Strickland faced a […]

Frances Arnold

Frances Arnold won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry!!!! It was awarded for her work on directed evolution, and if […]

Kyle Marian Viterbo

Trained as a physical anthropologist studying evolution, Kyle Marian Viterbo’s career has itself “evolved” – she now dedicates herself to […]

Janet Rideout

Janet Rideout (1939 - ) is an organic chemist and one of the scientists who discovered that azidothymidine (AZT) could […]

Clara Cynthia Benson

Clara Cynthia Benson (1875-1964) was a Canadian chemist and one of the first two women to earn a Ph.D. from […]

Nina Roscher

Nina Matheny Roscher (1938—2001) was an American chemist, historian, and advocate for women and minorities in science. Mentoring is an […]

Mary Locke Petermann

Mary Locke Petermann (1908-1975). Ribosomes are powerful cellular machines that make proteins, and the scientist who first isolated and characterized […]

Paula Hammond

Chemical engineer Paula Hammond (nee Goodwin) was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1963 and earned a PhD from Massachusetts Institute […]

Arda Green

Arda Alden Green (1899-1958) was an American biochemist and protein-purifying pro who worked “in the shadows” of “big names” but […]

Florence Bascom

Geologist Florence Bascom (1862-1945) was the first woman to receive a PhD from Johns Hopkins University, but she had to […]

Marjory Stephenson

Marjory Stephenson (1885-1948). Much of what we know about metabolism (the buildup, breakdown, and recycling of biological molecules) was first […]

Anna Jane Harrison

Physical chemist Anna Jane Harrison (1912-1998) was the first female President of the American Chemical Society (ACS), a beloved teacher, […]

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Astrophysicist Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell detected the first pulsar while a graduate student. Last weekend (July 15) she turned 75, […]

Alice Hamilton

Alice Hamilton (1869-1970) was the first female faculty member at Harvard Medical School and a pioneer in toxicology and occupational […]

Ulrike Boehm

We first encountered this week’s #WiSEWednesday honoree at last summer’s WiSE BBQ (she was attending CSHL’s Chromatin, Epigenetics and Gene […]

Jess Wade

As we prepare for our WiSE/CSHL Library & Archives Women-In-STEM Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, we want to introduce you to one of […]

Molly Hammell

Last week, computational biologist Molly Hammell was promoted to Associate Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (@CSHLnews) - what better […]

Frances Saunders

DAME Frances Carolyn Saunders. Last week, the Queen’s Birthday Honors List was released and among the big “winners” was Dr. […]

Mary Fieser

Mary Peters Fieser (1909-1997) was an American organic chemist known for the words she wrote, the molecules she made, and […]

Camila dos Santos

This #WiSEWednesday, we’re honoring one of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL)’s own: Dr. Camila dos Santos, who just received a […]

Marion Sewer

Marion Sewer (1972-2016) was a pharmacologist and Professor at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD)'s Skaggs School of Pharmacy […]

Herta Ayrton

Hertha Ayrton was the first woman proposed as a Fellow of the Royal Society – I say “proposed as” not […]

Elisa Izaurralde

Elisa Izaurralde (1959 – 2018). For the second week in a row, our #WiSEWednesday profile honors the life of a […]

Susan Williams

This #WiSEWednesday we honor Susan Williams, an amazing marine ecologist and environmental activist whose life was tragically cut short last […]

Youyou Tu

Youyou Tu received the 2015 Nobel Award in Medicine “for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria” – and, […]

Louise Slaughter

If you heard about last month's death of Louise Slaughter, it was probably in relation to her position as a […]

Katharine Burr Blodgett

  Katharine Burr Blodgett (1898-1979) invented “invisible” glass, which GE loved to tout, but they didn’t bother to include her […]

Ruth Sager

Ruth Sager (1918-1997) pioneered the now-thriving field of “cytoplasmic genetics” but it took decades before her theories were accepted. Sager […]

Louise Chow

You might have heard about the molecular imaging technique cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) because of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. […]

Martha Chase

If you hear “Hershey” and think “Chase,” not “chocolate,” you might be a scientist. My hope is that, after reading […]

Mildred Cohn

Mildred Cohn (1913-2009) developed methods to track the movement of atoms within cells and was the first female president of […]

Caroline Dean

Cellular and developmental biologist Caroline Dean studies the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms by which external temperature regulates the timing of […]

Margaret Oakley Dayhoff

(1925-1983) is considered by many to be the founder of bioinformatics, a field that designs and applies computational methods to […]

Audrey Shields Penn

Audrey Shields Penn was the first African-American woman to serve as acting director of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) […]

Edith Flanigen

Zeloite: it’s not just a great Scrabble word; it’s also a type of microporous mineral with many uses, as shown […]

Veronica Rodrigues

Veronica Rodrigues (1953-2010) was an influential neuroscientist who helped cultivate and gain recognition of a thriving biosciences community in India. […]

Mathilde Krim

Last week, we were saddened to hear of the passing of biologist and HIV/AIDS crusader Mathilde Krim who, among other […]

Kristi Anseth

On January 11, we hosted biochemical engineer Dr. Kristi S. Anseth as our first McClintock lecturer of 2018. In her […]

Kono Yasui

Born in Kagawa Prefecture, Japan in 1880, Kono Yasui grew up in a society built around the ideal of women […]

Michelle Dougherty

Michele Dougherty has never been to space in person, but as a Principal Investigator for the international Cassini spacecraft mission, […]

Carolyn Cohen

Last week we lost another great female scientist, structural biologist Carolyn Cohen, lovingly known by friends as “C2”. Cohen studied […]

Catherine Dulac

Continuing our recognition of the importance of mentorship, this WiSE Wednesday we honor neuroscientist Catherine Dulac for both her “conventional” […]

Ruby Payne-Scott

It is ironic that Australia’s first female radio astronomer, a woman later held-up as a source of Australian pride, was […]

Sarah Diermeier-Herridge

This WiSE Wednesday we honor this year’s WiSE post-doc mentor awardee, molecular biologist Dr. Sarah Diermeier-Herridge. The WiSE Mentorship Awards […]

Mary Claire-King

You probably know about the BRCA1 gene and its link to breast cancer thanks to Angelina Jolie, but do you […]

Linda Van-Aelst

This WiSE Wednesday we honor this year’s WiSE faculty mentor awardee, molecular biologist Dr. Linda Van Aelst. Scientists are often […]

Betty Harris

As we at WiSE experienced firsthand teaching neuroscience to Girl Scouts last summer, sharing the joys of science with children […]

Isabella Karle

Isabella Karle (1921-2017). Last month we lost another great woman in science, crystallographer Isabella L. Karle, who helped develop methods […]

Jane Richardson

This special WiSE Wednesday, we revisit one of our past honorees as she visits us! Jane Richardson is a true […]

Joan Steitz

There are some scientists who can capture an entire room; one such person is this week’s WiSE Wednesday honoree, Dr. […]

Emīlija Gudriniece

Organic chemist Emīlija Gudriniece (1920-2004) was one of the first scientists to recognize the potential to produce fuel from vegetable […]

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard

The lack of women among this year’s Nobel Prize winners has brought attention to the serious underrepresentation of women in […]

Patricia Bath

Representation matters. Case in point: this week’s WiSE Wednesday honoree Dr. Patricia Bath, whose work both inside and outside the […]

Asima Chatterjee

Did you see Saturday’s Google Doodle and wonder what it was all about? The image, with “Google” spelled out in […]

Lynn Margulis

Evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis transformed the way we think about the origins of life. Eukaryotic (plant, animal, and fungal) cells […]

Mary Amdur

Many researchers talk about “living and breathing” science – this metaphor is particularly apt for this week’s WiSE Wednesday honoree, […]

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

When the AIDS crisis struck, some tried to isolate themselves or ignore the problem – not this week’s WiSE Wednesday […]

Rita Colwell

The medical “breakthroughs” you read about on the news, while rightly celebrated, usually involve very expensive treatments for previously untreatable […]

Tikvah Alper

Discrimination forced Tikvah Alper (1909-1995) to relocate frequently, but she found ways to pursue her scientific interests wherever she went, […]

Hedy Lamarr

Chances are, you’re reading this WiSE Wednesday profile with the aid of Wi-Fi. If so, you have this week’s honoree, […]

Marie Tharp

Some scientists find their life’s passion exploring the vast unknowns of the galaxies; others, like this week’s WiSE Wednesday honoree, […]

Alice Ball

Alice Ball developed the first truly effective treatment for leprosy (Hansen’s disease), but you likely haven’t heard of her. In […]

Henrietta Leavitt

Next month, people will turn their (guarded) eyes to space to see the solar eclipse. This week, we look back […]

Maryam Mirzakhani

Every day, scientists use math – whether it’s doing simple algebra by hand to determine concentrations of a solution or […]

Nettie Stevens

Have you ever felt guilty “bothering” a scientist with your questions? Don’t! As this week’s WiSE Wednesday honoree, molecular biologist […]

Cecilia Payne

Now recognized as one of the most brilliant astronomers of the twentieth century, credited with determining what stars are made […]

Ada Yonath

Ada Yonath was born in Jerusalem in 1939 to a family that struggled financially but was determined for her to […]

Melissa Cristina Márquez

Most of the women in science we have featured through WiSE Wednesday have done their work in a laboratory, but […]

Ruth Benerito

She is credited with “saving the cotton industry” and saving the lives of Korean War soldiers. Who am I talking […]

Jane Gertschier

Studying for my qualifying exam has been quite stressful, but, in the course of my literature review, I have come […]

Helen Taussig

Just as gender shouldn’t hold anyone back from achieving their dreams of scientific careers, neither should disability. Each week, through […]

Mary Francis Lyon

Ever wonder how calico cats get their unique coloring? This week’s WiSE Wednesday honoree, Mary F. Lyon, did, and she […]

Ida Noddack

You’ve probably seen the Periodic Table of Elements, but the table you learned about in school looks different from the […]

Stephanie Kwolek

Bullet-proof vests, fireproof boots, durable canoes, cut-resistant gloves. What do these items have in common? They often contain Kevlar, a […]

Maria Goeppert-Mayer

As many scientists working long hours for limited pay can tell you, passion for science can be a stronger motivating […]

Thressa Stadtman

Women often suspend or upend their careers to follow their husbands to new jobs. In this case, however, he followed […]

Frieda Robscheit-Robbins

Throughout history, the words used to describe women in science have all too often focused on their looks instead of […]

Lydia Villa-Komaroff

Diabetics around the world are kept alive thanks to the work of this week’s WiSE Wednesday honoree, Lydia Villa-Komaroff, who […]

Tahani Amer

Today’s WiSE Wednesday honoree is out to show that faith and science can coexist. Aerospace engineer Tahani Amer was raised […]

Maud Menten

If you have ever taken a biochemistry class, you’ve probably heard of the Michaelis-Menten equation, co-discovered by this week’s WiSE […]

Carol Greider

Today is a very special WiSE Wednesday because our honoree is here to visit us! Molecular biologist Carol Greider is […]

Kathleen Lonsdale

The intersection of Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day, and WiSE Wednesday calls for the honoring of a very special […]

Yvonne Brill

Did you know it’s national engineering week? WiSE stands for “Women in Science and ENGINEERING,” so this WiSE Wednesday, we […]

Marie McNeely

These past couple of weeks, #womeninscience have been taking to Twitter to introduce themselves (check out #actuallivingscientist #dresslikeawoman). I have […]

Marie Daly

African Americans remain largely underrepresented in STEM, but their contributions to the advancement of knowledge have been significant. Black History […]

Ursula Franklin

In honor of last Friday’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, this WiSE Wednesday we honor a Holocaust survivor who went on to […]

Leslie Vosshall

We are so excited to welcome this week’s WiSE Wednesday honoree, neurobiologist Leslie Vosshall to CSHL today, and this short […]

Debbie Berebichez

Despite great advances in the inclusion of women in STEM, minority women, and Latinas in particular, remain severely underrepresented. This […]

Jeanette Epps

You’ve likely heard about “Hidden Figures”, the film about the African American women behind the success of NASA’s mission to […]

Vera Rubin

This WiSE Wednesday, we honor another great female scientist we said goodbye to in 2016. Vera Rubin, born in Philadelphia […]

Daisy Roulland-Dussoix

You’ve probably heard of Rosalind Franklin, the X-ray crystallographer whose work was crucial to solving the structure of DNA, yet […]

Deanna See

Antibiotics have saved countless lives, but they also have a dark side. Overuse of these drugs has led to the […]

Huda Yaha Zoghbi

If you watched the Breakthrough Prize awards ceremony last weekend, you might have noticed a striking gender imbalance. Of the […]

Virginia Apgar

When you’re chasing a 4.0, each grade you earn may feel tremendously important. However, the most critical grade you receive […]

Shirley M. Malcom

“Who will do science? That depends on who is included in the talent pool. The old rules do not work […]

Jane Richardson

In this week’s WiSE Wednesday, art meets science. Jane Richardson is a true “Renaissance Woman;” born in New Jersey in […]

Janna Haigh

While prominent politicians may question the existence of human-induced climate change, there is no doubt in Janna Haigh’s mind that […]

Susan Lindquist

This WiSE Wednesday we pay tribute to a scientist, entrepreneur, leader, and role model we tragically lost last week. While […]

Rachel Holloway Lloyd

As you enjoy your Halloween candy next week, check out the wrappers to see if beet sugar is listed. If […]

Rosalyn Yalow

Starting with the first blood tests you receive as a newborn, you have benefitted from the work of this week’s […]

Amelia Rudolph Laskey

This WiSE Wednesday we honor a woman who exemplified the values of citizen scientist. Despite not having a formal science […]