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Rosalyn Yalow, Nobel laureate : her life and work in medicine : a biographical memoir.

Straus, Eugene.

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ISBN 10: 0306457962 / ISBN 13: 9780306457968
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New York ; London : Plenum Trade, c1998, Hardcover. Dustjacket. xv, 277p : 1 facsim, ports ; 24cm. Includes index. Condition : very good copy. ISBN 0306457962[KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF MEDICINE*. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 204487

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Titel: Rosalyn Yalow, Nobel laureate : her life and...

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included

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This authorized biography of Rosalyn Yalow is the life story of one of the few Nobel Prize-winning women in science. An outspoken woman and a complex hero in an age of superficial celebrity worship, this is the complete tale of her remarkable rise from child of uneducated immigrant parents to shining star in a male-dominated profession and world. As this story unfolds - as told by a respected physician who was her scientific colleague and friend - we learn of a young girl who against all odds grew up into one of the most venerated women in science. Her life story is related intermittently against the backdrop of her later years, when, after having won the Nobel Prize and suddenly felled by a stroke, she was brought to a hospital where, soiled with blood and unrecognized, she was "dumped" as a charity case onto another hospital. From a long line of strong women, Rosalyn emerged from being the daughter of immigrant parents struggling to make ends meet, to the young, determined woman who made it her destiny to break all barriers. Young and energetic, she broke into the sciences as a lone female graduate student in physics, outshining her male classmates. She refused to accept a conventional career as a physics teacher, and instead pioneered in the new field of nuclear medicine. Along with Solomon Berson - her brilliant and charismatic partner - she created a mom and pop scientific laboratory that rivaled and surpassed the giants in bringing new understanding to diagnosing human disease. Did breaking the gender barrier in building a world class laboratory and struggling to make a great discovery take its toll on her personal life? Straus investigates that question through first-hand interviews with Yalow, and her family, friends, and colleagues, not glossing over her complex relationship with her daughter nor the suicide of her much overshadowed brother.


This biography of Rosalyn Yalow chronicles more than the life and scientific achievements of a dedicated research scientist. The tenacity Yalow applied to achieving her life's goals--a good family and a Nobel Prize-winning scientific career (medicine-physiology, 1977)--reveals what is both wonderful and wrong with United States research science and medicine. Issues like gender bias, informed consent for patients in clinical trials, fear of radioactivity, and the role of research, education, and patient care in hospitals, where the bottom line looms large, are all discussed in the context of this remarkable woman's life.

As a Jewish woman, Rosalyn Sussman was unique among her classmates when she began graduate school in physics at the University of Illinois in 1941. Three and a half years later, more quickly than anyone else in her program, she completed her Ph.D. By then, she had married a classmate, Aaron Yalow, who would be her husband for the next 50 years. Through memoir and interviews with Yalow's professional and biological families, it is clear that nothing was going to stop her from achieving her goals, and that this aggressive drive affected those close to her.

Without ever submitting a research grant proposal, Yalow and Solomon Berson, her second husband and research partner, were able to develop the radioimmunoassay (RIA), still a key component in biochemical research. Yalow and Berson freely trained scientists from all over the world in RIA and kept no secrets from the scientific community. Such openness stands in stark contrast to today's secretive, competitive, grant-driven culture of academic research. Strauss's biography pays tribute to a remarkable scientist and offers a unique snapshot of science in the latter half of the 20th century. --Irwin Scot Hirsh

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