ACS Celebrates the Achievements of Women Scientists in American History

(reproduced with appreciation from


Rachel Holloway Lloyd

The first American woman to earn a chemistry Ph.D., Lloyd introduced a beet sweetening agent as a sugar substitute.

Ellen Swallow Richards

Pioneer of sanitary engineering, Richards contributed to our understanding of environmental systems.

Alice Hamilton

A pioneer in the toxicology field, Hamilton studied the effects of harmful substances on the human body.

Gerty Theresa Cori

The first American woman to win the Nobel Prize, Cori’s landmark research gave us an understanding of sugar metabolism.

Mildred Cohn

Cohn revolutionized NMR techniques, now widely used to study metabolic processes at the molecular level.

Gertrude Elion

A Nobel laureate, Elion’s “rational drug design” led to effective treatments for leukemia and many other illnesses.

Rosalyn Sussman Yalow

The second woman Nobelist in medicine, her groundbreaking technique can measure hundreds of substances in the body.

Helen M. Free

Creator of revolutionary diagnostic test strips, Free made possible self-management of disease.

Stephanie Kwolek

Inventor of industrial-strength fibers that today protect and save thousands of lives.

Darleane Hoffman

Co-discoverer of elements 118 and 116, her research on super-heavy elements led to important findings about fission