Birthday of Marie Curie, Radiation Pioneer
On November 7th, 1867 Marie Curie, born Marie Sklodowska, was born in Poland. As the pioneer of radiation science, all of us who work in radiation oncology today owe her a great deal of gratitude. In honor of her birthday today, we want to share a brief history of her life and work. We at PalabraApps hope to honor the many people who have devoted their work to radiation by continuing to develop software that empowers clinicians to treat patients efficiently and effectively.
While not from a wealthy background, Marie Curie grew up passionate about science and education. Her passion started with her father who taught math and physics, and she did a lot of self-teaching while receiving basic schooling. She attended university when women were finally accepted as students and when she could afford it, studying physics at the University of Paris.
In 1895, she married Pierre Curie, a fitting partner to her passion and drive. Pierre was an instructor at the School of Physics and Chemistry, and became a partner in her research. She was married in a simple and practical blue cotton dress, rumored to be an outfit she wore many times while working in her lab.
The same year they married, X-rays were discovered by Wilhelm Roentgen, sparking Madame Curie’s interest and research into uranium rays. She and her husband did most of their research in a converted shed next to the school, which was not properly ventilated or waterproof.
Years of work later, in 1898, the Curies announced the discoveries of two elements, Polonium and Radium, and coined the term “radioactivity.” By 1910, she was able to isolate radium metal, and had released dozens of scientific papers, including one showing the effectiveness of radium to kill cancerous cells. In that time, she had also received her doctorate degree, became the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize, and became the first female professor at the University of Paris.
During World War I, Marie Curie established 20 mobile radiological vehicles and 200 radiological field units, developed radiation needles to stop infections in soldiers, and trained many women in medicine. Following the war, she continued her work in radiation research and gained international recognition, including an invitation to the White House.
In 1934, Marie Curie died from aplastic anemia, likely from her long-term exposure to radiation from her lifetime of work. Her research papers and even her cookbook remain too radioactive to touch today. She left behind a Nobel-Prize-winning daughter and an incredible legacy for not just the scientific community, but the world.
Radiation oncology as we know it today stands on the shoulders of the incredible work of Marie Curie and all of you who continue to work hard to treat those affected by cancer. We at PalabraApps want to express our deepest gratitude for all of this incredible work. Our role is to support clinicians like you in carrying out her legacy and treating millions of lives, by making your work efficient as possible.
If you want to learn more about how we can help your cancer center, email us today.