Dr Rosalyn <I>Sussman</I> Yalow

Dr Rosalyn Sussman Yalow

Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Death 30 May 2011 (aged 89)
Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Burial Fairview, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA
Memorial ID 70724269 · View Source
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Nobel Prize Laureate Scientist. A biochemist, she was honored in 1977 for her development of radioimmunoassay (RIA). Raised in the South Bronx, she decided on a scientific career early, graduated from Walton High School (one of that now-defunct facility's two Nobel laureates), and received an undergraduate degree in physics from Hunter College; rejected from the graduate program at Perdue University for being Jewish, she worked as a secretary at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons before being accepted as the only female student at the University of Illinois College of Engineering. She married Dr. Aaron Yalow in 1943, received her Ph.D. in 1945, taught at Hunter College for a year, then worked in the laboratory at Columbia before beginning her research career at the Bronx VA Hospital in 1947. Partnering with Dr. Sol Berson, she discovered a technique of using radioisotopes to measure body chemicals, initially insulin, that exist in very small quantities. In 1956 she and Dr. Berson discovered insulin antibodies leading to the finding that Type 2 diabetics (then called adult onset diabetics) have more insulin than normal subjects, not less; their evidence was rejected by the "Journal of Clinical Investigation", though years later Dr. Yalow must have gotten private satisfaction when she received the Nobel for the same body of work. With time RIA was to find both general acceptance and a multiplicity of uses including the diagnosis of hypothyroidism, a preventable cause of mental retardation in neonates and the testing of donated blood for the Hepatitis B virus. Dr. Yalow was named to the National Academy of Sciences in 1975, received the Albert Lasker Award in 1976, and shared the 1977 Nobel Prize in Medicine with two others. While Dr. Berson would undoubtedly have been honored along with her, he had died in 1972 and the Nobel is never given posthumously. Having no outside interests, she never retired, maintaining emerita status at the Bronx VA and Mount Sinai Hospitals until her death.

Bio by: Bob Hufford

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 1 Jun 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 70724269
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dr Rosalyn Sussman Yalow (19 Jul 1921–30 May 2011), Find A Grave Memorial no. 70724269, citing Mount Moriah Cemetery, Fairview, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .