Rosalyn Yalow, Nobel Laureate: A Biographical Memoir by Eugene Straus
This authorized biography of Rosalyn Yalow is the life story of one of the few Nobel Prize-winning women in science. An outspoken woman and a complex hero in an age of superficial celebrity worship, this is the complete tale of her remarkable rise from child of uneducated immigrant parents to shining star in a male-dominated profession and world. As this story unfolds - as told by a respected physician who was her scientific colleague and friend - we learn of a young girl who against all odds grew up into one of the most venerated women in science. Her life story is related intermittently against the backdrop of her later years, when, after having won the Nobel Prize and suddenly felled by a stroke, she was brought to a hospital where, soiled with blood and unrecognized, she was "dumped" as a charity case onto another hospital. From a long line of strong women, Rosalyn emerged from being the daughter of immigrant parents struggling to make ends meet, to the young, determined woman who made it her destiny to break all barriers. Young and energetic, she broke into the sciences as a lone female graduate student in physics, outshining her male classmates. She refused to accept a conventional career as a physics teacher, and instead pioneered in the new field of nuclear medicine. Along with Solomon Berson - her brilliant and charismatic partner - she created a mom and pop scientific laboratory that rivaled and surpassed the giants in bringing new understanding to diagnosing human disease. Did breaking the gender barrier in building a world class laboratory and struggling to make a great discovery take its toll on her personal life? Straus investigates that question through first-hand interviews with Yalow, and her family, friends, and colleagues, not glossing over her complex relationship with her daughter nor the suicide of her much overshadowed brother.