Women of Science

Photograph of Alice Hamilton

Dr. Alice Hamilton (1869-1970)

Dr.  Hamilton received her doctor of medicine degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1893, and then completed internships at the Minneapolis Hospital for Women and Children and the New England Hospital for Women and Children. As a child, Hamilton was homeschooled, and then attended Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut for two years before attending college.

Dr. Hamilton was a leading expert in the field of occupational health and a pioneer in the field of toxicology, studying occupational illnesses and the dangerous effects of industrial metals and chemical compounds, such as lead on the human body. She moved to Hull-House in 1897 where she treated poor immigrants suffering from workplace borne diseases and it was there she made her greatest mark in the development of industrial toxicology. In 1919 she became the first woman appointed to the faculty at Harvard Medical School, serving in their new Department of Industrial Medicine. 

Jewel Plummer Cobb photograph

Dr. Jewel Plummer Cobb (1924-2017)

Dr. Cobb earned a bachelor's degree from Talladega College in 1944 and master's and doctoral degrees from New York University.  Her research focused on the relationship between melanin and skin damage, and on the effects of hormones, ultraviolet light, and chemotherapy agents on cell division.

Dr. Cobb served as dean of Connecticut College and Professor of Zoology from 1969 to 1975. She played a central role in implementing coeducation and increasing racial diversity on campus. She worked to expand the number of faculty of color and to involve students in shared governance, and she led significant numbers of students toward advanced degrees in the sciences through her example and mentorship. 

Photograph of Florence Sabin

Dr. Florence Sabin (1871-1953)

Dr. Sabin received her undergraduate degree from Smith College and entered Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1896. Thereafter, she was the first woman on the faculty at Johns Hopkins, where she built an impressive reputation for her work in embryology and histology (the study of tissues).  In 1925, Dr. Sabin moved to the Rockefeller Institute to head the cellular immunology section, the first woman full member of the institute. Reprints of Dr. Sabin’s professional publications were donated to the World Center for Women’s Archives.