Five scientific couples who changed the world of medicine
The same interests, goals, and passion for science can lead to some strong chemistry. What can be more romantic than being stuck in labs together with someone, working on a new discovery? These 5 couples succeeded not only to build remarkable partnerships but also make a contribution to science.
Marie & Pierre Curie
We would like to start with probably the most famous scientific couple – Marie and Pierre Curie. Pierre gave up his research to join Marie’s project. We can only guess how cancer would be cured if they hadn’t discovered radium. Marie was the first one who demonstrated that radiation is a powerful tool that can be applied in diagnostic and therapeutic medical procedures. Thanks to this brilliant couple we now have radiotherapy to treat cancer.
Frederic Joliot & Irene Joliot-Curie
Well, we all know that the apple never falls far from the tree. Irene Curie, the daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie mentioned above, was also a talented scientist. Together with her husband Frederic, who by the way was not very welcomed in the family by Madame Curie, they made discoveries that revealed the possibility of using artificially produced radioactive isotopes to follow chemical changes and physiological processes. These isotopes were now relatively easy and inexpensive to produce, and they rapidly became important tools in biomedical research and in the treatment of cancer. The couple received a Nobel Prize.
Marie-Anne & Antoine Lavoisier
The Lavoisiers are one of the most famous scientific families in history. They got married when Marie-Anne was only 13 and right away created a full chemistry lab to work in. Marie-Anne and Antoine explored the role oxygen played in plant and animal respiration, as well as its role in combustion. They designed an ambitious set of experiments to study the whole process of body metabolism and respiration. Lavoisier’s pioneering work served to inspire similar research on physiological processes for generations to come.
Gerty & Carl Cori
The Coris started their career at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, where they researched carbohydrate metabolism. Together they studied how the body metabolizes glucose and how the body produces and stores energy. Their discoveries were especially useful in the development of treatments for diabetes. In 1947 the Coris shared a Nobel Prize.
May-Britt & Edvard Moser
The Mosers made a research on the body’s internal positioning system which had uncovered the cells near the hippocampus that were essential for our spatial memory and orientation. Together they discovered a second key component of this system, the cells that create a spatial coordinate system in the brain that allows us to precisely position ourselves in a 3D space. The Mosers were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2014 for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.
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