The Accomplishment of Gertrude B. Elion

1153 Words Feb 24th, 2018 5 Pages
She started out teaching biochemistry at New York hospital school of nursing, and then she was an unpaid chemistry lab assistant. She stuck with this job, hoping to eventually get paid and even made $20 a week, which is one of the reasons she was able to attend New York University (Koenig, 2006). She scrimped and saved and had help from her boyfriend, Leonard Canter (McGrayne, 2002). While in school, she taught as a teacher in training as well as a substitute (Elion, 1988). At the same time she was doing research for her Master’s at night and on the weekends to keep up. She eventually got a job doing analytical work for a food company. She did gain excellent instrumentation skills in this job even though she thought of it as quite boring. After this, Johnson and Johnson hired her, but that was short lived. Many people wanted to work with Elion, but she refused many job offers and agreed to work with George Hitchings at Burroughs Wellcome Company.

IV: Scientific Contributions
George Hitchings allowed Elion a lot more freedom. She was able to perform research at her own pace, which she loved because she was highly motivated to learn as much as possible, as fast as possible. She got involved with areas outside of chemistry, like immunology, pharmacology, and virology (McGrayne, 2002). Little was known about enzymes or nucleic acids at the time, so her main focus was on purines. Hitchings would always let Elion know that he was…
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