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Rosalyn Sussman Yalow

Rosalyn Sussman YalowAKA Rosalyn Sussman

Born: 19-Jul-1921
Birthplace: Bronx, NY
Died: 30-May-2011
Location of death: Bronx, NY
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Female
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Developed radioimmunoassay technique

Born in 1921 in the Bronx, New York to Jewish immigrants, Rosalyn Yalow showed early aptitude in mathematics but was later drawn to physics. During the draft years of World War II she was able to gain entrance to previously male-dominated physics graduate program at the University of Illinois. There she worked under the renowned nuclear physicist Maurice Goldhaber, becoming proficient in the construction and use of apparatus for the measurement of radioactive substances.

In the late 1950s Yallow and research partner Dr. Solomon A. Berson created radioimmunoassay (RIA), an analytic radioisotopic technique that allows the quantification of trace amounts of biological substances within bodily fluids. Additionally the research by Yallow and Berson, the first such research done with RIA, discovered previously unknown truths about the reaction between insulin and the immune system. Yalow was awarded the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Andrew V. Schally and Roger Guillemin.

RIA is currently used to screen blood for hepatitis virus in blood banks, detect foreign substances in the blood, determine effective dosage levels of drugs and antibiotics, and treat and detect hormone-related health problems.

Father: Simon Sussman
Mother: Clara Zipper
Brother: Alexander (b. 1915)
Husband: A. Aaron Yalow (m. 6-Jun-1943, d. 8-Aug-1992)
Son: Benjamin Yalow
Daughter: Elanna Yalow

    University: Walton High School, Bronx, NY
    University: Hunter College (1941)
    University: MS Nuclear Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1942)
    University: PhD Nuclear Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1945)
    Professor: Mt. Sinai School of Medicine (1968-79)
    Professor: Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1979-85)

    ITT assistant engineer, Federal Telecommunications Laboratory (1945-46)
    National Academy of Sciences (1975)
    Phi Beta Kappa Society
    Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society
    Dickson Prize 1971 (with Solomon A. Berson)
    Nobel Prize for Medicine 1977 (with Roger Guillemin and Andrew V. Schally)
    Lasker Award Basic Research (1976)
    National Medal of Science (1988)
    National Women's Hall of Fame (1993)
    Stroke (1-Jan-1995)
    German Ancestry Maternal
    Russian Ancestry Paternal
    Jewish Ancestry


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