in partnership with
A Woman or Girl from around the World whose pioneer invention or discovery in the field of Science or Technology merits global recognition
By identifying women and girls who are diverse and innovative problem-solvers and sharing their story of impact, Women@TheFrontier provides global Inspiration, public Education, and community Connection with the ultimate goal to Balance the Role Model Ratio. In 2017, in partnership with Singularity University, we launched a new campaign: “Game-Changer 365” #GC365. Our goal? To feature 365 trailblazers from around the world that represent STEM pioneers of the past, present and future!
Fossil Hunter. Discovered the first documented dinosaur skeleton. Discovered “Ichthyosaurus” or fish-lizard, a long-necked “plesiosaurs,” a “pterodactyl” and thousands of other Jurassic fossils. Her contributions provided key insight into Earth’s past and helped frame the theory of evolution, later presented by Charles Darwin.
Anthropology & Hunger Activist
Driven to end child hunger and break the cycle of poverty, launched “Project FEED.” Each product has a number stamped on it to represent the amount of school meals it will feed with purchase. Over 100 million meals provided to date.
At the vanguard of personal genomics. Founder of “Precise.ly” a patient data-tracking platform. Co-Founder of “23&Me” the world’s first personal genetics service. Founder of “Brainstorm Research Foundation” focused on accelerating research in Alzheimer’s disease.
Founder of Gresmex, a nanoparticle-based disinfectant recognized by the World Economic Forum as “disruptive innovation” and by the UN Foundation as “one of the 100 firms that will save humanity.” Nbelyax, her “full-spectrum nano-biomolecule” renders inactive hospital-acquired infections from viruses, bacteria, fungi and spores.
The first woman to discover a comet. Comet “35P/Herschel–Rigollet” is named in her honor. In her lifetime, Herschel discovered three nebulae, eight comets, and catalogued 2,500 nebulae/star clusters. The first woman awarded a ‘Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society’ and her groundbreaking contributions to astronomy earned her the ‘Gold Medal for Science’ presented by the King of Prussia.
Teen-Titan & Future Scientist
15-year old invented an electrically charged (or piezoelectric) “leaf” device that harvests clean energy from sun, wind and rain. The innovative device called HARVEST costs just $5. Named ‘America’s Top Young Scientist’ and winner of ‘Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.’
World renowned fossil hunter. Discovered the oldest human skull and the world’s first positive evidence of bipedalism. With husband Louis, found remains from Homo habilis at Olduvai Gorge (1.75 million years old) and footprints at Laetoli (3.6 million years old), both in Tanzania. Considered “the most significant archaeological and anthropological finds of this century.”
Helped launch a new paradigm in retail by empowering individuals at the intersection of design and technology, bringing 3D printing into mainstream. Founder of “Shapeways,” the leading 3D printing marketplace with 20.000+ entrepreneurs online.
Young Innovator & Activist
Courageous innovator shifting the status quo of how we view and live with terminal illness. Founder of “Claire’s Place Foundation,” providing support to children and families affected by cystic fibrosis (CF).
Luminary explorer of the outer solar system. Expert imaging of Cassini’s mission to Saturn, and Voyager’s missions to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Key findings from her work on Saturn’s moon, Enceladus hints “an ocean under its surface could harbor life.” Named one of “25 Most Influential People in Space” by TIME Magazine. Awarded the Carl Sagan Medal.
Chemist & Physicist
Bold innovator transformed her life and that of her community. From factory worker, to launching a company at 22-years old, to becoming the world’s richest self-made woman ($8.6B net worth). Her company “Lens Technology” is the leading supplier of touchscreen glass covers for Apple and Samsung.
Niveen M. Khashab
Working with programmable nanoparticles containing chemotherapy treatment, Khashab’s novel approach deploys targeted and personalized medicine with a potential to revolutionize cancer treatment. Pioneer work developed nanoparticles that naturally degrade when exposed to light. L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award.
Low Hong Yee
Biomedical Engineer & Polymer Scientist
Nanotechnology pathfinder. Her research is at the forefront of nano-imprinting and nano-fabrication of biomimetic surfaces. With a goal to reduce global warming, her world offers eco-friendly and non-chemical alternatives to plastic.
Patricia S. Goldman-Rakic
World-renowned neuroscientist. Discovered the cellular basis of working memory. Her pioneer studies of the brain paved the way for understanding schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Discover the cause of depleted atmospheric ozone in the Antarctic, known as the ozone “hole” – altering the course of atmospheric research. Her research led to a global ban on the chemicals that destroy atmospheric ozone and threaten human health worldwide.
Physics & Astronomy
Trailblazer led humanity’s expedition to Mars. Her work on the ‘NASA Mars Curiosity Rover’ mission provided the first close range evidence that the Red Planet was once capable of supporting life.
Maria Goeppert Mayer
Thaisa Storchi Bergmann
Pioneer in supermassive black holes. First to discover the orbital movement of matter around a super-massive black hole, demonstrating how black holes influence the evolution of the galaxies.
Frieda S. Robscheit-Robbins
Founder of JOBDOH, Hong Kong’s leading online marketplace for on-demand hiring. In just 3-years the company has grown to include over 5000 employers and 90,000+ registered workers. Inspired by a social mission to reduce poverty and increase income for the underserved, this smart-platform looks to revolutionize the temporary staffing industry.
Molecular & Cell Biology
Daisy Robinton. Molecular & Cell Biology.
Science disruptor “engineering the end of aging.” Her current research explores the frontier of gene editing, stem cells and the potential to treat liver cancer.
Launched “Zero Space Inc.” with a mission to design and create products and collaborative spaces that result in ‘zero waste’ of manufacturing materials. Her bold initiative hopes to reverse and reduce the negative environmental impact 8,000 tons of discarded fabric from sewing factories in Changsin-dong, is creating in South Korea every year.
Disrupting the “EdTech” space by launching “Educatina”, an online educational platform for K12 learners with free 24/7 on-demand tutorials. The Argentina company looks to democratize access to world-class education, and today has over 5 million students.
Invented “Chipsafer” a digital system to track animals. The global platform uses sensors to geolocate livestock and can be applied to monitor endangered species and analyze cattle behavior to prevent epidemics.
Liset & Ximena Contreras
Sisters from Bolivia turned discarded shells from Brazil nuts into fuel pellets, applicable for domestic and industrial use. The ‘pellets’ are non-flammable, can be used as fertilizer, and leave zero carbon footprint.
Discovered “compactly supported continuous wavelets,” today called “Daubechies wavelets” in her honor. Considered one of “the world’s most cited mathematician” and her methodology has been used to determine the age of world famous paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Rembrandt.
Next-Gen Social Impactor
At 17-years old, developed “Sit With Us” an innovative app to combat bullying at school. With over 100,000 users, the device helps teens find someone to sit with at their high school cafeteria.
Molecular & Cell Biology
Founder of biotechnology company “Caribou Biosciences” and the development of an innovative tool called “SITE-Seq,” with potential applications ranging from understanding antimicrobial resistance, to spotting when CRISPR (gene editing software) makes mistakes.
Uncovered new genetic links to Alzheimers. Considered one of the world’s foremost experts in Alzheimer’s research, having identified 30 genes that increase/or decrease the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. TIME cited her work as “one of the top ten medical breakthroughs of 2009.”
Katharina Sophia Volz
Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine
Discovered the cell type that forms the coronary arteries -paving the way for new heart disease treatments. Founder of OccamzRazor, an AI-driven neuroscience company using deep learning to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.
BJ Casey & Monica Rosenberg
Psychology & Cognitive Neuroscience
Exploring the boundaries of human attention, self control and focus. Developing models to predict individual differences in attention and cognition at the “Fundamentals of the Adolescent Brain (FAB) Lab.”
At the forefront of understanding genetic variation in humans, specifically “short tandem repeats.” Invented and patented an algorithm that analyze these “repeats” to help scientists understand factors that ultimately lead to human disease.
Diane Wu & Poornima Parameswaran
Genetics & Molecular Biology & Computer Science
AGTech change-agents. Their innovative company ‘Trace Genomics’ detects the DNA of organisms living in the soil, building a “sequencing library” and offering farmers real-time information of the microbes present to increase yield and ultimately prevent crop disease.
Patty Jo Watson
World expert on the origins of agriculture. Pioneer in cave archaeology (particularly the Mammoth Cave, the longest known cave system in the world). Considered one of “The 50 Most Important Women in Science” and elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Margaret A. Liu
15-year old invented a biodegradable container that holds clean water and oral rehydration salts (ORS) to save millions of children suffering from diarrhea in her native India. Nair’s “Blu Pak” can hold 350ml of safe drinking water and has a separate slot to hold ORS, by shaking the pack, the salts are mixed with water providing a safe and portable solution.
Bold “out-of-the-box scientific thinker” demonstrated the profound ramifications and genetic link of “protein folding” in infectious disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Awarded the National Medal of Science.
At the frontline of the world’s first Ebola outbreak, igniting the global community to urgently and aggressively respond to the crises and control the spread. President of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Named “Top 100 Most Influential People,” one of “The World’s Greatest Leaders,” and awarded The National Order of Quebec.
15-year old’s research on toxic algae blooms in Lake Okeechobee caused by agricultural effluent streams (threatening wildlife and 700 species of fish) led to an innovative out-of-the-box solution to use mushrooms to filter the wastewater. Winner “Young Eco-Hero Award.”
Madison Miles & Katherine Siciliano
High School students developed an organic, eco-friendly plant food called “Nutrasafe” using orange and banana peels. Their innovative “vegetarian gel capsules” addresses the environmental concern of traditional fertilizers contributing to water pollution, and provides a safe alternative to increase crop yield. Recipients of the Environmental Protection Agency’s President’s Environmental Youth Awards.
Described as a bluetooth pioneer, 15-year old innovator developed the “Smart Flood Sensor” and “Smart Wildfire Sensor,” original monitoring devices to predict and prevent floods and wildfires. Recipient of the Environmental Protection Agency President’s Environmental Youth Award.
7th grade student developed a novel method to treat and manage amblyopia, a condition that affects 12 million children worldwide. By connecting sensors to an iPhone app and eye patch, Viswesh’s device called “Oculus Patch Assistant” tracks head movement, patch use, sharpness of vision and produces an algorithm that suggest a personalized regimen.
8th grade student invented a test to gauge how long emulsions (oil trapped in pockets under the water’s surface) stay stable. The test could help cleanup crews decide on best practices during oil spill and ultimately save marine wildlife. Top Prize ‘National STEM Competition Broadcom Masters.’
Demonstrated how an epigenetic marker programs our adult size, and does so as early as 4-days into embryonic development. Her research of the activation of gene “Zdbf2” in the brain, could provide insight into new treatments for childhood growth disorders.
At the forefront of “green science.” Anthore-Dalion applies ‘radical chemistry’ to develop innovative molecular assemblies that are efficient and non-toxic to reduce the environmental impact of synthetic chemistry.
Chemistry & Physics
Leading research to stop “meningococcal meningitis,” a bacterial infection that can cause severe brain damage, even death in 50% of cases if untreated. Combining biology and biophysics, Bonazzi is developing methods to control the interactions between a pathogen and its host cell to development new treatments.
At 15-years old, discovered the mathematical structure of sounds that trigger selective emotions. Demonstrated how certain types of music affect the brain and shed light on the power of music therapy to treat neurological and anxiety disorders such as PTSD and Attention Deficit Disorder.
Abolitionist & Political Scientist
Co-founder of “Walk Free,” a global movement to end modern-day slavery. Currently 40 million people live in slavery, 71% are women/girls. Forrest’s movement has 7 million supporters and recently inspired the world’s religious leaders (including the Pope, a Zen Buddhist master, Sunni and Shiite clerics, the Archbishop of Canterbury and a South American rabbi) to pledge to eradicate slavery by 2020.
Engineer & VR/AR Influencer
Creator of “UnlimitedHand,” the world’s first haptic controller in VR games, giving the human hand access to touch and feel virtual objects. Creator of “PossessedHand” named one of TIME Magazine’s “50 Best Inventions,” a wearable device to control human finger movements and teach users how to play a musical instrument.
Victoria & Lauren Coaxum
Future-Neuroscientist & Doctor
Molecular & Cell Biology
Founder of biotechnology company Caribou Biosciences and the development of an innovative tool called “SITE-Seq,” with potential applications ranging from understanding antimicrobial resistance, to spotting when CRISPR (gene editing software) makes mistakes.
Sara Saeed Khurram & Iffat Zafar
Ending the “Doctor-Bride” phenomena. Launched “Sehat Kahani” to democratize healthcare in Pakistan through a national network of stay-at-home female doctors. This online tele-health platform with 800+ doctors, has already benefited 500,000 marginalized women and children.
Built a robotic guide dog for the blind and visually impaired. Globally there are 253 million blind/visually impaired individuals. Sellin launched ‘Vixsystem’ leveraging sensors, artificial intelligence, and GPS to provide individuals with disabilities greater autonomy, safety and freedom of mobility.
Launched ‘Law.ai,’ a machine-learning company that created a robotic divorce lawyer called “Lily” and a robotic immigration lawyer called “Mike.” At 10-years old Gong became China’s youngest national chess master.
Created the first 100% biodegradable sanitary pad using banana fibers. This socially impactful product called “Saathipads” has zero toxic chemicals and degrades within six months of disposal (1,200 times faster than conventional pads). In India 200 million women/girls (84% of 12-47 year old females) can’t afford sanitary pads, resulting in dropping-out of school or work completely.
Hilda Cerdeira & Paula Gomez
Physicist & Electrical Engineer
Mother-Daughter discovered a way to predict epileptic seizures with 25-minutes advanced notice. Their innovative and non-invasive device called ‘Epistemic’ alerts patients and caregivers with 93% accuracy.
Future Software Engineer
14-year old developed “ReThink,” to detect and stop cyberbullying. Her innovative platform alerts users when they type something hurtful or insensitive, empowering adolescents with a second chance to rethink and remove offensive posts (93% success rate).
Biochemistry & Cell Biology
Exploring the forefront of climate change and environmental factors that alter plant DNA. Leading Salk Institute’s research project called “Harnessing Plants Initiative” to develop “ideal plants” able to trap carbon dioxide in roots to provide sustainable sources of food, fuel and fibers.
Kawsar Roshan, Fatemah Qaderyan, Lida Azizi, Rodaba Noori, Kawsar Roshan, Yasimin Yasinzadah
Founder of ‘Endodiag’, a unique non-invasive diagnostic and biopsy tool to identify and fight endometriosis – a chronic and painful disease that can cause infertility. There is currently no known cure, affects millions of women but receives little attention or research funds.
Enass Abo Hamed
Nanotechnology & Chemistry
Invented a safe and low cost energy storage system called “H2GO Power.” The design uses an innovative ‘porous catalytic material’ capable of releasing hydrogen in a controlled manner, resulting in clean mobile energy.
Unlocking the potential of ‘quasicrystals’ (atoms or molecules arranged in patterns that never repeat). Currently investigating the formation, growth and stability of quasipatterns with the goal to discover new mathematical models and novel applications in manufacturing.
Launched ‘THEYA Healthcare products’ to help women heal physically and psychologically during and after cancer treatment. Using bamboo as fabric material, the products are environmentally friendly, use no chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers to manufacture and are 92%-97% resistant to bacteria – important protection against surgical site infections.
Dorothy Hansine Andersen
Trailblazer, changing the future of chatbots. Launched “Chatbots for Good” with a goal to introduce a new generation of makers to the importance of empathy, language and conversational interfaces.
11-year old designed an innovative, portable and cost-effective device called “Tethys” that checks lead contamination levels in drinking water. Winner ‘Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist.’
Frances Oldham Kelsey
FDA reviewer who’s courage saved a generation of children. Refused to authorize ‘thalidomide’ for US market. The drug later proved to cause serious birth defects that affected a generation of children in the UK and Germany where the drug had been approved.
Founder of Piñatex, created a “new material for a new world” by inventing a sustainable, all natural textile made from pineapple leaves. This inspiring cruelty-free material is sourced from agricultural waste (the by-product of pineapple harvest), resulting in additional income for farmers.
Driven to empower and restore mobility to individuals suffering from Parkinson by launching “Beats Medical”, an innovative technology that delivers daily ‘sound wave’ treatment using a mobile application. Named “Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur.”
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Physician
Psychologist & Tech Entrepreneur
Invented a nano-coating technology (Nanobarrier HYDROP) that is eco-friendly, 100% breathable, and non-flammable with significant implications to change the textile industry’s legacy of pollution, at the same time protecting clothes and shoes.
Change-maker, shaped the early field of astronomy with her discovery of a new comet using a telescope – the comet was later named “Miss Mitchell’s Comet” in her honor. Recognized as the first professional female astronomer in the United States.
Created BLITAB Technology, the world’s first tactile tablet for the blind. With over 285 million blind/visually impaired people worldwide, but only 1% of all published books available in Braille, Tsvetanova’s innovative solution is accelerating digital and social inclusion.
Transformed her father’s balance and mobility struggle by developing “Walk With Path”, an innovative shoe insole to reduce the risk of falls. A discrete laser attaches to the shoe, providing feedback to the soles of the feet via vibrations. Benefits of this tech include people with diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and the elderly.
Launched ‘mDoc Healthcare’ a mobile platform currently helping over 1 million Nigerians by providing 24/7 access to a virtual and multidisciplinary healthcare team (including doctors, nurses, allied providers) for people living with chronic diseases. mDoc’s innovative technology leverages SMS, voice and video to manage daily care and ultimately prevent premature death.
Computer Scientist & Linguistics
Combines artificial intelligence, computer games, and linguistics to solve a “hidden disorder.” Rello developed an online screening platform to detect and treat dyslexia. ‘Change Dyslexia’ offers a free diagnostic test, with 90% accuracy in just 15 minutes of game play.
20-year old founded a coding school in Kenya called ‘Moringa School’ that today places 95% of it’s graduates in top tech companies throughout Africa. Compared to the national average of only 1% computer scientist finding jobs, her innovative curriculum is shifting the region’s balance.
Founded Coolar, a solar-powered, off-grid and environmentally friendly refrigerator for vaccine storage. In remote regions, 75% of vaccines are at risk of damage – Römer’s water-based technology creates a sustainable “cool to heat” solution.
25-year old invented a low cost ($20), ceramic water filter, to stop Uganda’s water-borne illnesses that today are the number one cause of death for children under the age of five. Her company SPOUTS’ Purifaaya is the only water filter manufactured in Uganda, made from local materials and lasts up to 2 years. Providing a source of safe water for families, it has currently reached 90,000 homes.
Founder of ‘Naireeta Services’ and maker of Bhungroo (meaning straw or hollow pipe in Hindi) an innovative solution that filters and stores rainwater underground for up to 30 years. This efficient rain water conservation technology has the potential to boost global agri-income by $208 billion annually.
Replacing cash with a digital voucher to enforce transparency and distribution of monetary aid. Her company ‘Vouch Digital’ optimizes government and organizational support in Uganda’s agriculture sector by providing open, online and real-time tracking of funds.
Launched ‘Unique Quality Product Enterprise’ to leverage Fonio, a sustainable indigenous crop from Ghana that is also drought and flood-resistant. By transforming an almost extinct crop with “extraordinary benefits”, Abdulai is disrupting food insecurity, reducing malnutrition among children and pregnant women and offering new opportunities for landless female farmers.
Nurse & Entrepreneur
Saving lives by creating an online blood bank available to those in extreme need. At 21-years old, her company ‘Infiuss’ is changing the Cameroon health landscape by collecting and dispatching donated blood to hospitals with a quick text message.
Retinal Surgeon & Ophthalmologist
Her company ‘Almouneer’ is Egypt’s first networked, and completely digital, diabetic eye care centre. With 15 million people in Egypt, and another 50 million throughout the Middle East and Africa, suffering from diabetes-related eye problems (the most severe resulting in blindness) her tech platform looks to transform the healthcare landscape. Khater is also the only female eye surgeon specialized in retinal surgery in Egypt today.
Changing the world of fabrication. Her inspired startup Nonspec provides innovative “hyper-adjustable”, durable and low cost prosthetic limb kits for amputees. Approximately 3 million amputations occur every year. Keaney’s unique technology ensures the prosthetics easily adapt to a range of patient sizes and costs $150 (compared to the market range of $20,000).
Courageous change-agent. Invented a non-invasive optical reader (Rubitection) for early bedsore detection. Every year in the US alone, 2.5 million patients suffer from pressure ulcers/bedsores and 60,000 people die as a direct result. Gaspard’s hand-held, battery operated device measures the skin to determine if a bedsore is forming – of critical importance to bed-ridden, wheelchair-bound and elderly patients.
Social impactor. Invented a portable, waterless, low cost toilet that requires no electricity or plumbing with the goal to create safer, smarter, more dignified sanitation. (Globally, 2.6 billion people lack safe toilet access. 80% of diseases around the world are attributable to poor sanitation. 20%-40% of girls drop out of school due to inaccessible/inappropriate toilets).
Transforming the future of emergency care. Founder of Twiage, a cloud-based digital platform that sends real-time data from ambulance to hospital. Patients are registered from the ambulance or accident sene using GPS-tracking and a smart phone app. This innovative tech offers hospitals a complete picture of incoming patients and ultimately the benefit of accelerating life-saving care.
Anna Stork & Andrea Sreshta
Launched ‘LuminAid,’ a rechargeable non-toxic solar-powered LED lantern, that floats and can ‘collapse to become thinner than a deck of cards.’ Provides 30 hours of continuous light. Over 50,000 LuminAid lanterns have been deployed across 70 countries including, to refugees and first responders affected by Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan, and the Nepalese earthquakes.
Cofounder of Getaround, a peer-to-peer car-sharing platform with a potential environmental impact to offset 100 million pounds of carbon emissions. At the frontier of a new mind-culture-policy shift, to value ‘access’ to cars over ownership. Named “A female technology founders to watch.”
Visionary researcher. Her contributions set in motion the development of medical technologies like M.R.I.’s, providing key images of internal tissue. Pioneered the use of stable isotopes and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to examine the structure of proteins and the behavior of enzymes in the body. Awarded the National Medal of Science.
Fixing ‘broken water projects’. Launched Water Collective, bringing long-lasting, clean water to over 76,000 people living in Africa and India. (In Sub-Saharan Africa alone failed hand pumps represent $1.5 billion in wasted investments. Almost 800 million people live without safe drinking water. The water crisis is amplified to almost 4 billion people counting the number of failed water projects that exist in the developing world.)
Founder of ‘Transplants Without Donors’ – developing artificial organs as an alternative therapy for transplants. Her significant contribution enabled the world’s first successful artificial organ transplant (an artificial trachea for a late-stage cancer patient). Named Forbes 30 Under 30.
Mary Ellen Avery
Groundbreaking discovery of the cause for underdeveloped lungs in premature babies. Her critical identification of ‘surfactant’ helped introduce replacement therapy. Avery is credited with saving over 800,000 newborn lives. Awarded the National Medal of Science.
World-renowned game designer. Pioneer in location-based and alternate reality/massive multiplayer online gaming. Creator of SuperBetter, impacting over 250,000 players tackling real-life health challenges including, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and traumatic brain injury.
Psychotherapist & Artist
Patented a polymer to enable vaccines survival without refrigeration. (Almost 2 million people die each year from vaccine-preventable illnesses). Also launched a startup that creates intelligent digital displays. Named Forbes “30 Under 30.”
Reinventing the approach to hospital disinfection. Cofounder of novel tech called “Vital Vio” a new kind of LED white light with the power to continuously kill germs by attacking a molecule-specific to bacteria, mold, and fungi – all with the flip of a light switch and without damaging the health of human patients.
Culture shifter transforming the ‘pink aisle.’ Founder of GoldieBlox, launched as a kickstarter campaign today it’s an award-winning children’s toy company disrupting gender stereotypes with the world’s first girl engineer character. Named Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, 1 of 25 “People Shaping Retail’s Future,” and recognized by the National Women’s History Museum with a “Living Legacy” Award.
Discovered transposons or “jumping genes” – the first to demonstrate some genes move within chromosomes. Her pioneer studies on maize also led to the discovery that genes switch the physical traits of an organism on or off. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Engineer & Entrepreneur
Founder of Lark, named “Top 10 Most Innovative Apps in the World.” Digitizing your health patterns using AI and wearable tech to track sleep, diet, and exercise. Hu’s company has the potential to be the world’s largest sleep database. Her ultimate goal is to help individuals live and ‘sleep’ healthy and happy.
Anesthesiologist & Neuroscientist
Leading the future of Neuroscience. Performed remote simulations of trauma rescues, anesthesia and surgery in Mars analogue-settings. Applied EEG technology to understand what human brains look like when they lose and regain consciousness.
Pioneered DNA sequencing. Demonstrated the first complete gene ever to be sequenced. Also awarded the National Medal of Science for groundbreaking research in the fields of plant genetics and genetically modified crops.
Founded 3D4MD (creating 3D printed medical supplies) and Medical Makers (a global community of innovators, patients and healthcare providers) to build solutions that matter and save lives. Launched “Flu Near You,” the world’s largest crowd-sourced flu tracking and vaccine locator platform.
Established a new field called ‘neuroendocrinology,’ with husband Ernst. Discovered ‘nerve-gland cells’ in invertebrate species. Her seven-decades of research on the South American cockroach led to critical understanding and breakthroughs in human physiology. Awarded the National Medal of Science.
Karen J. Meech
Her groundbreaking work on comets helped develop our understanding of how the tails develop far from our Sun. Her pioneer research addresses fundamental questions about how earth got its water and how habitable planets are formed. Investigating the origin, history, and evolution of water in the universe.
Lalita Prasida Sripada Srisai
Using corn cobs, 13-year old invented a unique water filtration system that removes 70-80% of contaminates, including oxides of salt, detergents, oils, color dyes, as well as trap metals such as lead, cadmium, and chromium. Corn is India’s third biggest crop. Lalita’s invention repurposes the abandoned corn waste as a cost-effective solution for cleaning ground water and industrial tanks on site.
Pioneer in radioactivity research. Explained and coined the term ‘nuclear fission’ for the process when uranium splits, releasing a burst of kinetic energy. The synthetic radioactive element “meitnerium” is named in her honor, the only element to take the name of a woman who was not a mythological figure.
Trailblazing Young Innovator
Biochemist & Pediatric Surgeon
Developing a clinical trial to perform in utero stem cell transplantation to cure genetic diseases before birth, including sickle cell anemia and muscular dystrophy. Change-agent focused on improving maternal, fetal, and neonatal health.
Disruptor. Developing the future of remote ‘surrogate’ hands for medical surgery. Invented a robot called ‘da Vinci’, applied as the first totally robotic roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Inventor of the “LapCap” device for safely establishing pneumoperitoneum.
17-year old invented a new Ebola test. The “Ebola Assay Card” (EAC) is fast (30-minute), low-cost ($25), visual (results shown as color change) and portable. It’s made from paper, silk and small amounts of reagents and detects Ebola viral antigens even when patients lack symptoms. (90% of Ebola victims die without early diagnosis and medical intervention. Current detection methods are expensive and require uninterrupted refrigeration). Hallisey’s unique invention can be shipped and stored for a week without refrigeration. Her diagnostic test could also be used for Zika, Lyme disease, and Celiac’s disease.
Her legacy: changed the way doctors diagnose cervical cancer and shaped the field of cytopathology. Groundbreaking research led to our understanding of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer. Provided critical proof that dysplasia is an early marker of cervical cancer. First to find that high-dose estrogen birth control pills increase the rate of cervical cancer by six-fold.
Inventor & future-Biomedical Engineer
Letícia Pereira de Souza
Safe drinking water. 18-year old used the Moringa seed (found in her native Brazil) to filter contaminated water. The local “Magic Seed” provides a low cost, accessible and biodegradable alternative for recovery of water polluted by chemicals. Google Science Fair Winner.
Jewel Plummer Cobb
Pioneer in cell biology and cancer treatment. Studied the cure for melanoma. Advanced our understanding of the skin cells that produce melanin and how those cells become cancerous. Discovered that methotrexate (a chemotherapy drug) effectively treats skin and lung cancer.
Ecologist & Marine Biologist
Discovered the existence of our ocean’s smallest creatures. Completely unknown to science before her discovery, this microscopic bacterium called Prochlorococcus, is responsible for producing over half the oxygen in our planet’s atmosphere. It influences climate and ocean ecosystems. With 80,000 genes (4 times that of humans) it is one of the oldest and most abundant photosynthetic organisms on Earth – a direct descendent of the first photosynthetic cells that pumped oxygen into Earth’s atmosphere over 4 billion years ago.
Developing a bio-inspired ‘soft robot’ manipulator for minimally invasive surgery. This transformative work presents a radical change in surgical instrument design (shifting away from rigid tools). The inspiration came using the octopus as a model and could present the future of medical devices and robotic surgery.
Mamie Phipps Clark
Pioneer in Child Developmental Psychology. Pivotal research determined that children became aware of their racial identity as early as 3-years old. Provided irrefutable evidence that racial discrimination caused negative self-image and low self-esteem in black children. Her findings greatly influenced ‘Brown vs Board of Education’ a Supreme Court ruling that declared segregated public schools were unconstitutional.
Creating the future of ‘fingermarks’. Leading world expert leveraging mass spectrometry in forensic analysis. Ground-breaking technology provides in-depth analysis of fingerprints at crime scenes (including a person’s diet, drugs use and gender).
Marie Maynard Daly
Discovered the link between high cholesterol and clogged arteries – leading to a better understanding of how heart attacks are caused. Pioneer research on the effects of hypertension (high blood pressure). Conducted critical research on the effects of sugar on arteries, and cigarette smoke in lungs. First African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1947.
Made modern spaceflight possible. Developed the most powerful rocket. Created technologies that led to hybrid vehicles. Her seminal research analyzing solar and wind technologies, determining the life use of batteries and identifying energy-conversion systems established the groundwork for hybrid vehicles today. Her software led to the Centaur rocket, the most powerful upper stage in the US space program and launched weather and communications satellites, and exploration spacecraft – Pioneer, Viking, Voyager and Cassini.
14-year old transforms Styrofoam trash into water filters. (The U.S. throws away 1.9 billion pounds of Styrofoam (the brand name of expanded polystyrene/EPS) each year, contributing 25% of U.S. landfill space, and taking hundreds of years to degrade.) The teen-trio (with fellow 8th graders Ashton Cofer and Luke Clay) developed a way to recycle EPS into activated carbon removing significant amounts of iron, copper and chlorine from water. Their innovative ‘Styro-Filter’ could lower energy and equipment costs, reduce landfill waste and provide affordable access to clean water. Scientific American Innovator Award.
Ezgi Tezer and İlayda Sırbaş
Using crushed aluminium cans, 15-year old innovators from Turkey developed an eco-friendly external wall capable of absorbing powerful impact loads – up to 61%. Their innovation increases the resistance of reinforced concrete buildings protecting homes from bombs and the impact of explosions. Google Science Fair Winners.
Medicine & Pulmonologist
Trailblazer. Original research focuses on screening for pulmonary hypertension by using an artificial electronic nose. (Pulmonary hypertension, predominantly found in women, leads to heart failure and 40% of patients die within 5 years of diagnosis).
Jane Cooke Wright
Cancer pioneer and chemotherapy change-agent. Developed the technique of using human tissue culture rather than laboratory mice to test the effects of potential drugs on cancer cells. The first to identify methotrexate, one of the foundational chemotherapy drugs, as an effective tool against cancerous tumors – pioneering its application to treat breast and skin cancer. Invented a method of delivering chemotherapy agents directly to an internal cancer site.
13-year old invented a bandage that informs doctors when it needs to be changed, speeding the healing process. Math-enthusiast embedded nanoparticles of graphene ‘ink-printed into fractal patterns’ on a bandage to accurately detect when moisture levels drop. Critical for large wounds that require more precise care to avoid infection.
“Made visible the invisible in photos.” Invented a new method to enhance underexposed photographic negatives – significantly improving the quality of astronomical and geological images. A significant breakthrough to peer into deep space and highlight our solar system. National Inventor of the Year – the first woman to receive this honor.
On a quest to cure PCOS (‘Poly cystic ovary syndrome’ a leading cause of female infertility affectig 1 in 10 women of child-bearing age). Tata’s research bridges hormone therapy with environmental factors to understand the triggers that cause the syndrome.
Cutting-edge tissue engineering. Developed new biomaterial to repair damaged nerve tissue. Pioneer work restores ‘lost connections’ in the brain transforming stroke, spinal cord injury and blindness.
Inventor & Real Estate Developer
Actress & Inventor
Invented frequency-hopping technology. A pioneer in the field of wireless communications. During World War II created an unbreakable code that prevented classified messages from being intercepted.
Regina Agyare Honu
“Ghanaian Tech Guru.” Launched the first coding school (Soronko Academy) for children in West Africa. Founded “Tech Needs Girls” and trained over 3,500 young women in eight different regions. Named a “Female Entrepreneur to Watch in Emerging Economies.”
Her most important work, developed the “SET theory” (symbiotic mergers of bacteria) explaining the origin of cells. Revolutionized the modern understanding of how life began on Earth. Called “perhaps the most important and dramatic event in the history of life.” Also co-developed the Gaia hypothesis.
Groundbreaker discovered the structure, dynamics and evolution of galaxies. Linked the brightness of galaxies to the speed of stars and co-discovered the Faber–Jackson relation (a tool for determining distances to external galaxies). National Medal of Science.
Resilient transformer making healthy food available to all. Launched an eco-friendly, probiotic-rich company (EFFI Foods) that leverages anti-inflammatory diets and nutraceuticals. Her personal story was the key to creating a nutrition bar line with non-dairy probiotic and prebiotic (CAREBAR) and the first of its kind legume-based granola (Chickpea Granola).
Considered the world’s leading expert on the welfare of cattle and pigs. Designed humane handling systems for half the cattle-processing facilities in the US; decreased the amount of fear and pain animals experience in their final hours. Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Author and advocate for individuals with autism. 2017 National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Develops robots to help people with disabilities. In 2016 her startup Aubot released the world’s first commercially-available robot you can move with your brain. Positive impact includes allowing sick children to attend school from their hospital bed. Named ‘Young Australian of the Year.’
Creates tiny robots the size of a grain of rice, able to overcome obstacles 80 times their height. Future application for these micro-robots include disaster relief, construction and medical devices.
CleanTech Champ! Her company BlueOak mines e-waste to be reused in new technology. Currently building a refining factory to extract gold, silver and copper from e-waste. Co-Chair, World Economic Forum Council on Advanced Materials.
Sau Lan Wu
Contributed to the discovery of three fundamental particles: Higgs boson (known as “the God particle”) , the charm quark and the gluon. These indivisible particles are the ‘stuff’ (the matter/energy/elements) that make up the Universe.
Marine Biologist & Author
Her bestselling book “Silent Spring” unleashed a national debate resulting in the reversal of pesticide policy and a nationwide ban on DDT. Her work also inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Nadine Burke Harris
Her critical investigation demonstrated that trauma changes a child’s DNA – linking adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress with lifelong risk of health, behavioral and learning problems. Developed a trauma screening tool for pediatricians and launched “the Center for Youth Wellness.”
Lisa Vallino & Betty Rozier
Nurse & Entrepreneur
Computational Social Scientist
Launched uBiome, the world’s largest citizen-science project that uses big data to understand bacteria by sequencing the microbiome (the trillions of microorganisms on our bodies). Launched SmartGut, the world’s first sequencing-based clinical microbiome test. As inventor, has filed over 100 patents.
Melati & Isabel Wijsen
“Bye Bye Plastic Bags”
Sisters from the Indonesian island of Bali, launched a global campaign to ban plastic bags. Indonesia is the second largest plastic polluter in the world after China. Most bags end up in the ocean, polluting the water and harming marine life. Their impact: convinced Bali’s Governor to commit to a “plastic bag-free” island by 2018. Indonesia pledged $1 billion to reduce marine waste by 70% by 2025 joining the UN’s Clean Seas program.
Discovered the mutations that lower cholesterol levels. Her groundbreaking studies led to the development of a new class of highly effective cholesterol-lowering drugs and new approaches to the prevention of cardiovascular and liver disease.
18-year old created the “Duffily Bag” – a sleeping bag that is lightweight, waterproof, heat retaining, non-flammable and highly reflective to combat homelessness. Using bubblewrap, velcro and waterproof metallic tape to fix some of the key problems with existing cloth bags, Duffy’s cheap and durable sleeping alternative is ready for emergency and disaster zones.
Discovered the origin of cells in early embryos that give rise to all tissues, the entire body and the placenta. Her fundamental research informed the development of human pluripotent stem cells. “From embryos to stem cells to personalized medicine” her findings have the potential to treat devastating degenerative diseases.
15-year old student created Bits N’ Bytes Cybersecurity Education (BNBCE), to spread awareness about cyber security, cyber bullying, respect and safety on the Internet. Guru’s platform teaches digital literacy skills to more than 50 million students and 4.5 million educators worldwide.
Transformed the field of Paleontology. Conducted pioneer research on fossil records (the skull anatomy of the earliest lobe-finned fishes and tetrapods from 400 million year old rocks in China) leading to our understanding of how aquatic vertebrates adapted to life on land. Species, fossils, even a dinosaur are all named in her honor.
Her ‘DNA nanodevices’ (synthetic DNA strands engineered to have artificial function)s, have been successfully used to map the going-ons inside living cells. Her new company Esya looks to diagnose lysosomal disorders, (rare neurodegenerative diseases that affect children).
Nurse & Statistician
The founder of modern nursing. Established the first scientifically based nursing school. The first woman awarded the Order of Merit (1907). International Nurses Day, observed annually on May 12, commemorates her birth.
Inventor & Engineer
“Waste Warrior” and inventor of ‘Green Steel’ demonstrated that plastic/rubber waster can replace coal in steelmaking. Her innovation to recycle tires prevented 2 million rubber-parts from entering Australia’s landfill. Today her micro-factories turn trash into treasure by transforming e-waste from mobile phones into useful materials.
The guardian of biodiversity. Developed the criteria to measure species extinction risk, used today by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for their Red List of Threatened Species, the world’s authority on conservation.
Her groundbreaking research led to the development of drugs that treat epilepsy, malaria and cancer. A world-class chemist and leading authority on phytomedicine. India’s first female Doctorate of Science.
Francisca Nneka Okeke
Pioneer work into geomagnetism and the equatorial electrojet phenomena. Her discoveries on how solar activity and daily variations of the ion currents in the upper atmosphere affects the Earth’s magnetic field could lead to better understanding of climate change determine tsunamis and earthquakes.
Naomi Estay & Omayra Toro
“Making Water Safe.” At 17-years old invented a water quality app to accurately determine bacteria content in water. Her invention determines contamination levels with top accuracy (65%-organic material and 80%-inorganic material), and was found 200x cheaper than standard testing procedures.
Discovered the world’s most-effective malaria-fighting drugs (artemisinin also known as qinghaosu and dihydroartemisinin). Considered a significant breakthrough in 20th century tropical medicine, saving millions of people living in South Asia, Africa and South America. The first person in China to win a Nobel Prize in Medicine.
At 19-years old, invented a 20-second charger. Her supercapacitor energy storage device holds a charge longer than any other devices on the market, and could potentially energize from cell phones to cars.
At 16-years old invented a new water filtering system using sand and bacteria to remove oil/toxic waste and recover water for reuse. Could have major benefits to global environmental efforts.
19-year old invented the ‘Hollow Flashlight’, which runs off the heat of the human hand. Also created ‘eDrink’, a mug that converts heat from your drink into an electric current to charge your phone. Passionate about harvesting surplus energy.
Biochemist & Neuroscientist
Demonstrated how brain cells communicate with each other and muscles. Her critical discoveries enhanced our understanding of the major causes of neurological disorders and opened the door to new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, depression and addictive behaviors.
Immunology & Medicine
Leading expert on dendritic cells. First scientist to prove these cells could be treated outside the body and reintroduced into the organism to stimulate immune system response. Her breakthrough discovery launched a new anti-cancer treatment.
Building the 1st universal communicator – a smart platform that combines machine learning and cognitive AI to give users seamless access to people, services, things. At 17-years old became the youngest college graduate to raise 1M for her company Entify (today 18M raised). Her tech could become “the holy grail of unification of services and channels of communication.”
At the leading-edge of understanding “dengue fever” – a deadly virus spread by mosquitos affecting 390 million people a year. Considered one of the most important human viral pathogens of our time, there is currently no vaccine or treatment available.
From ‘Banjos to Landmines’, at 17-years old invented a device leveraging sound to detect explosive land mines. The innovation uses an acoustic detection device on the frame of a scrap metal. detector.
Plant Pathology. Called a “Hero in the Field.” Her pioneer work in the scientific study of insects has transformed our understanding of pests, drought and climate change. Named one of 10 Most Influential African Women in Agriculture.
Determined the chemical composition of nebulae, including the Orion Nebula which showed similarities to our own Sun. Her findings are considered essential to our understanding of the beginning of the cosmos and the evolution of stars and galaxies.
18-year old developed a mobile app “White Water” that detects contaminated water with a 95% accuracy rate. Over 60% of all preventable deaths are caused by water-borne diseases, like malaria and schistosomiasis. Lin’s invention lets users determine the microbial content of their water in seconds.
17-year-old designed a biodegradable ‘scaffold’ to extract harmful phosphorus from contaminated water using seaweed, hair clips and a block of foam. Costing only 4 cents, this algea gel could impact 1.2 billion people around the world suffering from waterborne illnesses, like hepatitis.
Called the “Bacteria Whisperer” discovered bacteria communicate and coordinate their behavior. Applications of her breakthough research includes development of novel antimicrobial therapeutics.
“No More Thirsty Crops.” 16-year old invents a biodegradable super-absorbent polymer using orange peels and avocado skins to fight South Africa’s drought crisis. The material is capable of storing reserves of water 100x its own weight. Potential to revolutionize farming in water-scarce areas.
Student. 16-year old developed FacePrint, a tool to diagnose and monitor Parkinson’s disease. Requiring only a computer and webcam, FacePrint offers an inexpensive, remote tool to detect early stage Parkinson within milliseconds.
Invented the DayOne Waterbag, a “water treatment plant in a backpack” capable of cleaning contaminated water in 30 minutes. Her work has provided 150,000+ people in Ethiopia with clean water after natural disasters.
Huda Yahya Zoghbi
Discovered the genetic causes of two rare brain disorders: spinocerebellar ataxia and Rett syndrome (a brain disorder that occurs almost exclusively in girls, appearing 6 months after birth affecting the child’s ability to speak, walk, eat, and even breathe easily). Her critical work has laid the groundwork for targeted therapies for Alzheimer’s and autism.
Pioneer of mammalian genetics and embryology (first successful in-vitro implantation of mouse embryos, carried to term). Her findings led advances in human IVF and fertility treatments. Cofounded the Frozen Ark, a repository of genetic material from endangered animals.
Discovered how plants optimize their growth and transform sunlight into chemical energy. Her research is a major breakthrough to combat global warming, with a potential to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide by 50%.
Printing eco-friendly plastics used for electronics, renewable energy, and healthcare. Made organic solar cells and invented a novel microscopic “comb” that controls the flow of molecules to assemble layers into orderly structures. Developed organic plastic that can detect disease markers in a person’s breath.
Invented an affordable and portable solar-powered irrigation system so farmers can cultivate year-round. The centrifugal pump has x3 the efficiency of similar-size diesel pumps and can be powered by just 1/3 as many photovoltaic panels. The impact of her work could positively impact 30 million farmers in East India.
Pioneering noninvasive medical imaging techniques for early cancer detection and to visualize blood vessels during neurosurgeries. Innovative integration of optics, acoustics and robotics could significantly improve patient care.
Creating a new class of biomedical electronics: a wearable sensor that detects skin cancer and a first-of-its kind, flexible energy harvester that uses the movement of organs to send power directly to devices like pacemakers, implantable defibrillators and cardiac monitors.
Developed the first nanoparticles that can penetrate the brain. The implications include targeted drug therapy, better images for physicians/researchers to access regions of the brain not previously reachable, and possibly treatment of stroke, autism, cerebral palsy.
Norma Elizabeth Martínez
Created ‘Insight Alert’ a medical device capable of detecting and preventing septicemia. Neonatal sepsis kills 1 million newborn babies every year. Martinez invented a smart waterproof bandage, that is disposable and changes color in reaction to the wound it covers. Potential to save millions of lives.
Created a novel algorithm to predict the patients most at risk for sepsis, a life threatening reaction to infection. Correctly predicted septic shock in 85% of cases, within 1-day of onset at 60% improvement over current screening tests.
Her code (named HARVEY) simulates blood flow in the human body. The impact includes better understanding of human diseases from atherosclerosis to cancer, to scanning newborns with heart problems.
Developing artificial skin. The ultimate goal: to create electronic material that mimics human skin – sensitive to touch, able to flex, stretch, biodegrade and self-heal. Applied to prosthetics, robots and sensors increasing a patient’s quality of life.
Shubham Issar, Amanat Anand, Yogita Agrawal
Invented a revolutionary soap crayon to reduce infant mortality by promoting handwashing in children aged 3 to 6. Their overall goal is to prevent the annual deaths of 1.5 million children from infectious illnesses.
Creates new materials to clean wastewater generated from coal and nuclear power plants. Develops materials that can detoxify mustard gas. Decontaminating military equipment and eliminating stockpiles worldwide.
Launched wearable technology device to solve addiction. By combining machine learning, behavioural psychology and wearable tech the software automatically detects addictive behaviour, predicts indulgence and delivers clinically validated interventions. Named Forbes 30 under 30.
Materials Engineer & Nanotechnology
A scientific first: pioneered a new biomimetic conduit resembling blood vessets that does not clot and is easily reabsorbed by the body. Her work could significally impact the cardiovascular field.
Developing bio-hybrid systems to build muscle powered robots. Creating long-lasting capsules to safely deliver drugs to the stomach, and brain. At the forefront of blending biology and synthetic material. Named Forbes 30 under 30 and AAAS L’Oreal USA for Women in Science Fellow.
Business & Psychology
Harnessing energy from motion to democratize access worldwide. Created a soccer ball that doubles as a power generator, launched a startup and STEM program in Harlem, and is developing the first private hydroelectric 30-megawatt dam in Nigeria. Named Fortune’s Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs and Harvard University’s Scientist of the Year.
Developed a mobile app to quickly and cheaply diagnose HIV. The diagnostician enters the phone number of the patient and the code of the test being performed – reducing cost, travel and removing social stigma. MIT Innovator under 35.
Launched a leading bioinformatics startup focused on sequencing genomic data. The cloudbased software can identify genetic variations in DNA from large dataset, with implications in personalized medicine and cancer research.
Discovering how chemical changes in the brain during adolescence can result in anxiety disorder spikes for teens. Her work leverages behavioral, molecular, and genetic techniques to understand the developing brain.
“Poet of Code” driving compassion through computation. Founded the Algorithmic Justice League to fight bias in Machine Learning. MIT researcher, Rhodes Scholar, Fulbright Fellow, Google Anita Borg Scholar, Astronaut Scholar, The White House and Vatican speaker, Carter Center technical consultant.
An outlier in the world of tech startups. Co-founder Rivet Ventures, YouNoodle, CleanTech Open, and Startup Malaysia. Named World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, Top 35 under 35 Global Innovators by MIT Tech Review, and Forbes’ 20 Inspiring Young Female Founders.
Inventor of Caia, the world’s 1st portable and affortable robot delivering natural sunlight to your home. World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper, MIT’s Young Global Innovator, European Union’s Top 50 most influential women in startups.
Invented the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) – a file sharing protocol between computers. Her breakthrough made today’s internet possible changing fundamentally the way it runs. Holds over 100 patents.
Annie Jump Cannon
Geologist & Oceanographer
“The Matriarch of Modern Cancer Genetics.” First scientist to identify the cause of leukemia. Her findings established cancer as a genetic disease and made possible the development of targeted drug therapies.
Computer Scientist & Robotics
Artificial Intelligence influencer, produced one of the first computer vision models capable of generating human-like sentences to describe an image it “sees.” Co-Founder, AI4All. Over 100 scientific articles published. Named Foreign Policy’s 2015 Global Thinkers.
Zoologist and Master Brewer. Biotech pioneer contributed to the global understanding and development of new enzymes. Led an industry shift from applying polluting chemicals to eco-friendly enzymes. Founder of Biocon, Asia’s largest insulin producer. $2.4 billion net worth, India’s richest self-made woman. Othmer Gold Medal recipient.
Developed ‘celloidosomes’ a new 3D cell structure organized by cell self-assembly process. 18-year old holds 7 patents. Her discovery could fundamentally alter organ regeneration and neural tissue transplantation.
Discovered a particular nanoparticle that can detect and fight cancer. Winner Intel International Science & Engineering Fair, National Siemens Competition and White House Science Fair presenter.
Trailblazer leads the future of food production with novel solution to end world hunger. Discovered a cost-effective plant cloning process called ’glass bead liquid culture technology’. Potential global impact to propagate cloned plants with 100% survival rate at 98% cost. Global Female Innovator Award.
Developed the first immunosuppressive drug used for organ transplant. Conducted pioneer research targeting pathogens without harming the host cells. Discovered new drugs for leukemia, malaria and AIDS. First woman inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Founder, Girls Get Tech. Turned algae into biofuel. Pioneered a chemical method called hydrothermal liquefaction turning extremophile algae into fuel. Could revolutionize energy creation and wastewater infrastructure worldwide. National Science Foundation Young Scholar Award.
Geneticist & Virologist
Sequenced the genome of the Ebola virus confirming the spread was human to human (not via mosquito or pig). The first use of real-time DNA sequencing during a pandemic. National Academy of Sciences Award and TIME Magazine’s 2015 Person of the Year.
Elizabeth Blackburn & Carol Greider
Awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discovery that chromosomes are protected during cell division by telomeres, and by the enzyme telomerase. Their research transformed our understanding of death and aging.
Founder, Project STEAM. 15-year old invented a turbine called BEACON converting ocean current into energy, and access to clean water. Winner Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.
Founder of Angaza. Her disruptive approach provides affordable off-grid solar energy as the only ‘pay as you go’ solution for small (½-watt) clean energy devices. World Economic Forum-Global Shaper.
Azza Abdel Hamid
Transformed plastic into biofuel by identifying a catalyst called aluminosilicate. The breakthrough trash-to-fuel formula can be done cheaply, without emitting toxic gases. Potential $78 million clean energy production annually. European Fusion Development Agreement Award.
Known as “the First Lady of Physics.” Contributed to the Manhattan Project by developing a process to enrich uranium ore as fuel for atomic bombs. Made history with the Wu experiment, using cobalt-60 she disproved the hypothetical law of conservation of parity. National Women’s Hall of Fame and National Medal of Science recipient.
Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Discovered the first radio pulsars -considered one of the greatest astronomical discoveries of the 20th century. Demonstrated the first direct evidence for the existence of rapidly spinning neutron stars. Appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Pioneer of modern neuroscience. Produced the first scientific evidence of anatomical neuroplasticity, changing forever the way we understand the brain. Discoverd a link between positive thinking and immune health. Conducted research on Albert Einstein’s brain finding one of the first key differences in the scientific genius’ brain; it had more glial cells per neuron than the average male brain.
Pioneered nonspeech auditory interfaces from graphical interfaces to enable blind computer users to work with modern computer applications. Leading researcher in human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, health informatics, and assistive technology. Over 100 scientific papers published and four patents awarded.
Clean Water Advocate. 19-year old invented a solar-powered water purification system that resulted in 100% inactivation of total coliform bacteria in 15 minutes. Global impact includes providing clean, fresh water worldwide and stopping the spread of diseases. Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Award and Forbes’s 30 Under 30 energy influencer.
Jane Chen, Economics/MBA. Co-founder of Embrace, an infant warmer for premature and low birth-weight babies. Product cost is 1% of a traditional incubator. Estimated over 150,000 babies helped. Awards include World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader, Forbes’ Imapct 30, Economist Innovation Award.
In 1859 invented and patented a system of red, white, and green “Pyrotechnic Night Signals” called the Coston Flare. Her pioneer work was a critical communications tool for the U.S. Navy. Impact includes saving thousands of lives by signaling ships, warning of dangerous coastal conditions, and summoning rescuers to a wreck scene. Inducted to the National Inventors Hall of Fame
Developed a way of observing, in-situ, single atoms as they react. Developed new nanomaterials for catalysis, energy storage, healthcare, food coatings, and novel microscopy instrumentation. Co-invented the atomic-resolution environmental transmission electron microscope (ETEM). Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Award.
Maria Teresa Ruiz
Discovered the first free-floating brown dwarf, a new type of celestial body between a star and a planet. Her observations could answer if there is life on other planets. Also helped calculate the age of the Milky Way’s Disk at approx. 8 billion years!
Discovered a novel way to track the spread of malaria in Kenya by studying cell phone data. An infectious-disease epidemiologist, her innovative work has the potential to impact how public officials control pandemics/health outbreaks around the globe.
Planetary Geologist. Discovered the Chicxulub crater that caused the extinction of 50% of the world’s species (including dinosaurs) 66 million years ago. Currently leading missions to Jupiter, Pluto and Venus. Aims to secure the first asteroid sample. Named one of the 50 Most Important Women in Science by Discover Magazine.
Biomedical/Mechanical Engineer. Cancer researcher, MIT professor and biotech entrepreneur. Invented synthetic biomarkers that detect cancer through a paper urine test and a human microliver to fight infectious disease by predicting drug toxicity. Co-authored the first undergraduate textbook on tissue engineering. Elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Science and Lemelson-MIT Prize recipient.
Theoretical Astrophysicist. One of the first to propose ways to discover dark matter. Developed the theaory of a new star, ‘dark star.’ Her pioneer research, if successful could be the first time anyone has ever observed dark matter directly.
Discovered new advances in Riemann surface. First woman to recieve the prestiguous Fields Medal. Her work may disrupt areas of study including material science, engineering, quantum field theory, and theoretical physics as it applies to the origin of the Universe.
Considered one of the most prominent neuroscientists in brain mapping in the world. Potential impact includes unprecedented insight on how the human brain is organized, drives behavior and combats depression, addiction, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.
Physicist & Chemist
E. Charpentier & Jennifer Anne Doudna
Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier were the first to propose that CRISPR/Cas9 could be used for programmable gene editing, an idea that has been used for applications ranging from fundamental protein research to treatments for diseases including sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and HIV.
Named a top young innovator of 2003 by MIT Technology Review. Research focused on humanized intelligence, the process of embedding human cognitive capability into the control path of autonomous systems.
Piraye Yurttas Beim
Co-founded FightTheStroke.org after her son Mario was diagnosed with a perinatal stroke at 10 days old. Inspired by her son, Fedeli created a new approach to rehab using wireless video game technology.
The ‘Mother of modern medicine’. Her cancer cells sourced HeLa – the first immortalized cell line. One of the most important cell lines in medical research. 11,000 patents involve HeLa cells. Scientific breakkthroughs include: polio vaccine, AIDS and HPV/cervical cancer research, IVF, gene mapping, cloning, the first to orbit Space, and discovery of 46 chromosomes.
Industrial Organizational Psychologist. Designed a new method of measuring human potential –something traditionally measured through self-report. Founder of Dexter, AI to solve technological unemployment and help individuals find meaningful work.
The first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D in Astrophysics from Yale. Expert on blazars — supermassive hyperactive black holes at the center of galaxies. Sometimes these are oriented toward Earth, offering us a unique perspective on the physics of the universe.
Czech-born computer scientist and electrical engineer who helped create robots that could sense and respond to their environment. Currently developing low-powered sensors that watch for forest fires or keep track of people such as Alzheimer’s patients.