Gertrude B. Elion was bornon 23 January 1918 in New York City, New York, United States, American, is Biochemist, Pharmacologist. Gertrude B. Elion was an American biochemist and pharmacologist, who, along with George H. Hitchings and Sir James Black, won the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The trio developed several new drugs that went on to benefit millions of people around the world. Born to Lithuanian immigrant parents in New York City, Gertrude B. Elion developed an interest in medical science after witnessing her grandfather struggle with cancer. Following his painful death, the young girl was determined to try to find a cure for the life-threatening disorder. She went to Hunter College and graduated with a degree in chemistry following which she proceeded to the New York University to study for her master’s degree. She was deeply interested in a career in research, but being a woman she was not able to obtain the research position she so desperately sought. She worked in a series of other jobs before joining the Burroughs Wellcome Laboratories where she became an assistant to Hitchings, beginning a collaboration that would last four decades. Working together, the duo developed several new drugs to treat life-threatening diseases like leukemia, autoimmune disorders, urinary-tract infections, gout, malaria, and viral herpes. She officially retired in 1983 but continued being active in research for long afterwards.
From 1971 to 1983, she served as Adjunct Professor of Pharmacology and of Experimental Medicine at Duke University
In 1967, she was appointed Head of the Department of Experimental Therapy at Burroughs Wellcome, a position she held until she retired in 1983
She obtained her Master of Science degree in chemistry in 1941
She worked as a laboratory assistant for a chemist for some time before entering graduate school at New York University in the fall of 1939
In the early 1930s, the western world was still reeling under the aftereffects of the Great Depression and since her family was not financially sound, she wondered if she would be able to pursue a higher education
Gertrude Belle Elion was born on January 23, 1918, in New York City, United States, to Bertha (Cohen) and Robert Elion