As theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler once said, “there is no law except the law that there is no law.” With the unlimited potential of the human mind, imagination, and spirit, this statement reminds the world that anything is possible. Through scientific studies, experiments, and theories, genius minds have the ability to discover possibilities that prosper humankind.
In the advancement of medical science, significant philosophers, researchers, brainboxes, and originators have changed the world for the better by single-handedly improving human health. Read on to learn more about the life and work of some of the most influential scientists who contributed to the medical field.
As a philosopher, physician, and scientist, Avicenna was a father figure in early modern medicine. His work during medieval times changed the history of medicine and the course of world civilization. Yet, what makes his work profound and influential even to the present day? It’s his approach to the illnesses and diseases afflicting humanity. Avicenna paid careful attention to the prevention of diseases rather than only treatment.
Avicenna’s Arabic book of all-known methodical medical knowledge was translated into Latin to become the Canon of Medicine. This work became the authoritative text for medical education across Europe, popularly read and used into the nineteenth century.
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)
As a French chemist and microbiologist, Louis Pasteur is another of the leading influential scientists who contributed to the medical field. He remains renowned for his studies and discoveries in microbial fermentation, pasteurization, and principles of vaccination. Pasteur proposed and proved that germs cause disease through a theory known as “Germ Theory.” Ever since, his work has helped save endless lives worldwide.
Marie Curie (1867-1934)
Many recall the name of this notable physicist and chemist. Yet, what about her core contributions to science—and in turn, the medical field? Curie faced and crossed numerous daunting hurdles to become a Nobel Prize winner for her pioneering research and experimentation on radioactivity. Her discoveries and originative use of radioactive materials helped form the modern applications of carbon-14 in medicine today, such as radiolabeled APIs for clinical trials.
Gertrude Elion (1918-1999)
Due to her grandfather’s death from cancer, biochemist Trudy Elion decided to pursue medical-based research. Dedicated to the cause and striving for an eventual cure, her pioneering work helped develop innovative approaches for rational drug design and development. Elion and her team’s contributions helped fulfill her mission of alleviating human suffering through medication. Her name is found on the patents for a range of life-changing and life-saving drugs.
Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)
English chemist and biophysicist Rosalind Franklin is known for her critical scientific work of DNA research. Her most significant discovery contributed to our present-day knowledge of DNA. Stabilizing the foundation of genetic biochemistry, her uncovering of the double helix structure of the DNA changed history. This turning point gave scientists and medical professionals a greater understanding of the basis of human life. Franklin’s pioneering breakthrough helps us treat inherited diseases and disorders to this day.