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Famous Female Geneticists

Updated June 14, 2019 10.0k views7 items

List of famous female geneticists, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest female geneticists list contains the most prominent and top females known for being geneticists. There are thousand of females working as geneticists in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic geneticists have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a female aspiring to be a geneticist then the people below should give you inspiration.

People include everyone from Ruth Sager to Denise Sheer.

While this isn't a list of all female geneticists, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female geneticists?" and "Who are the best female geneticists?"
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  • Barbara McClintock
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Barbara McClintock (June 16, 1902 – September 2, 1992) was an American scientist and cytogeneticist who was awarded the 1983 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. McClintock received her PhD in botany from Cornell University in 1927. There she started her career as the leader in the development of maize cytogenetics, the focus of her research for the rest of her life. From the late 1920s, McClintock studied chromosomes and how they change during reproduction in maize. She developed the technique for visualizing maize chromosomes and used microscopic analysis to demonstrate many fundamental genetic ideas. One of those ideas was the notion of genetic recombination by crossing-over during... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: Dec. at 90 (1902-1992)
    • Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut
  • Ruth Sager (February 7, 1918 – March 29, 1997) was an American geneticist. Sager enjoyed two scientific careers. Her first was in the 1950s and 1960s when she pioneered the field of cytoplasmic genetics by discovering transmission of genetic traits through Chloroplast DNA, the first known example of genetics not involving the cell nucleus. The academic community did not acknowledge the significance of her contribution until after the second wave of feminism in the 1970s. Her second career began in the early 1970s and was in cancer genetics; she proposed and investigated the roles of tumor suppressor genes.... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: Dec. at 79 (1918-1997)
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
  • Leena Peltonen-Palotie (16 June 1952 – 11 March 2010) was a Finnish geneticist who contributed to the identification of 15 genes for Finnish heritage diseases, including arterial hypertension, schizophrenia, lactose intolerance, arthrosis and multiple sclerosis. She was considered one of the world's leading molecular geneticists.Peltonen-Palotie was born in Helsinki, but moved to Oulu while she was just five years old. She graduated from the Finnish Co-educational Lycée of Oulu in 1971. Peltonen-Palotie received her license (Licentiate of Medicine) in 1976 and in 1978, presented her dissertation to graduate to Doctor of Science in Medicine from the University of Oulu.Peltonen-Palotie worked... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: Dec. at 58 (1952-2010)
    • Birthplace: Helsinki, Finland
  • Mira Aroyo (Bulgarian: Мира Аройо; born July 11, 1977) is a Bulgarian musician, known as the secondary vocalist and one of the keyboardists and songwriters of the electronic band Ladytron, as well as a DJ. She writes and sings her songs for Ladytron in Bulgarian as well as English. Prior to a full-time career in music, Aroyo studied for a D.Phil. in genetics at the University of Oxford. ... more on Wikipedia
    • Age: 43
    • Birthplace: Sofia, Bulgaria