Barbara McClintock

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Barbara Mcclintock (1902-1992) was an American scientist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1983 for her discovery of mobile genetic elements.

She was doing genetic research before the DNA double helix was discovered. Barbara specialized in corn, its pigmentation and chromosomes. Her discovery of mobile genetic elements is relevant for medical and biological purposes and it resulted in new perspectives on how genes are formed and how they change during evolution. 

Barbara studied at the most prestigious universities such as Cornell University, where she studied biology. She also did a PhD in cytology, genetics and zoology in 1927. At that time, working on a scientific field was a male doing, so she was one of the female exceptions. Her family did not support her career at first, but finally, her father, who was a physician, changed his mind and accepted his daughter’s will. 

After studying for her biology degree, she found out that Cornell University did not hire female professors, so the Rockefeller Foundation funded her research at Cornell until she was hired by the University of Missouri. This is an example of the struggles she had lived just because of her gender. Barbara Mcclintock devoted all her life to doing research.