, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 1-12

Gertrude Belle Elion: Biochemist, Nobel Prize 1988

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Filed away in Gertrude Belle Elion’s cluttered office are letters like this:

Dear Ms. Elion: I opened my newspaper this morning and through many tears read of your great honor, the Nobel Prize. My daughter Tiffany was stricken with herpes encephalitis in September, 1987. A neurologist said the only hope for her was possibly the drug acyclovir.

I have thanked the Lord so many times that he blessed you with the determination, stamina, love, and patience to work all of the long hours, days, months, and years it takes to invent a new drug. Tiffany is a senior in high school this year and doing great. May the Lord bless you beyond your wildest dreams.

Abridgedfrom Sharon Bertsch McGrayne’s book, Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles, and Momentous Discoveries, a collection of 14 biographies, including chemists Marie Curie, Gerty Cori, Irene Joliot-Curie, and Dorothy Hodgkin. Published by Birch Lane Press, Carol Publishing Group, 1993, 419 pp., $26.95. ISBN 1–55972–146–4.