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Rosalyn Sussman Yalow

Essay by   •  August 19, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  877 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,860 Views

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Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, was an intelligent and persistent medical physicist who was a very determined woman when it came to her education and career. She is a great role model for people who have a dream of becoming someone some day, specifically a scientist. Yalow looked past her financial problems as well as her rights as a woman when it came to her education. She did not let the fact that people looked down upon her as a woman let her stop her from going to college to study something she loved, physics. Yalow had been through a lot during her life, but with each struggle she came out stronger and more determined than before to pursue a career, no matter what other people thought of her.

Born on July 19, 1921 in New York from a family of a German mother and a father from New York, Yalow's parents did not get a chance on education which is why they made sure Rosalyn and her brother, Alexander got an education. With the support from her parents, Yalow first graduated from Walton high school and then attended Hunter College in 1937 and managing to graduate in 1941 with honors in the science fields of chemistry and physics. She went from liking math in middle school, to enjoying chemistry in high school, and finally to loving physics in college. Therefore she went on to study physics at the graduate school of the University of Illinois. The fact that she went there in 1941 was because this was during World War II, so many young men were dragged into the military and the university needed girls to fill up their spaces. There, she graduated as the first woman in the physics field since many years ago. Moreover, it was at the University of Illinois where she met Aaron Yalow, her future husband whom she had two children with, Benjamin and Elanna and where she received her Ph.D on nuclear physics.

Yalow was mostly motivated by herself, for her passion and interest for physics. However, they were many people along the road who helped her achieve her dreams. Her parents were the very first ones who motivated her to learn and succeed in life by making sure that Rosalyn and her brother went to the library and read books, this reading sparked an interest in learning. Furthermore, she had some very special teachers. For instance, in high school, Mr. Mondzak made her enjoy and be curious about chemistry. Then in college, it was Professors Herbert N. Otis and Duane Roller who excited her about physics, but more specifically nuclear physics. Therefore, through all these encouragements Yalow looked past the doubts of receiving financial aid as a

woman studying physics, and went on to pursue a career. Moreover, she got more motivated to study physics when she read the biography of Eve Curie, where she talks about her mother, Marie Curie who was a Nobel-Prize winner. This book encouraged Yalow to pursue a Nobel Prize Award someday too.

In addition to pursuing her life goal and studying nuclear physics, Yalow has also contributed a lot in our world. After graduating from the University of Illinois, Yalow went back to her college to teach physics to military men. Later on, she had several partnerships with several scientists for research purposes. In 1947 until 1950, Yalow along with some other doctors developed the Radioisotope Service while working as researchers at a hospital. Furthermore, there was this scientist and doctor named Dr. Solomon A. Berson. Yalow worked with him for twenty-years until his death (1950-1972), and together they were doing lots of research that has contributed to our world, that today's scientists can use to make

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