Page 76

74

Breaking Barriers:

The Life and Work of Rosalyn Yalow

Reprinted with permission from the James J. Peters VA Medical Center.

Rebecca J. Anderson, PhD

Rosalyn Yalow

Forty years ago, Rosalyn and Aaron Yalow sat across from each other at a long banquet table in Sweden. Rosalyn had been invited from among the Nobel laureates to deliver the traditional address to university students at the beginning of this royal banquet (1, 2). The young man assigned to escort the speaker had been given a seating chart, which showed two Dr. Yalows. He strode into the room wearing his crisp student uniform and confidently stood behind Aaron, assuming he was the speaker. Rosalyn threw back her head in laughter. She rose and proceeded to the end of the long table. The red-faced student trailed along the opposite side, to the muffled amusement of the assembled notables. When he reached the end, she took his hand and whispered something that restored his self-esteem. Then, she escorted him to the podium. This one anecdote sums up Rosalyn Yalow: researcher, mentor, spokesperson for science, and mother. Rosalyn’s road to Stockholm was cluttered with obstacles, but she took no detours. She accomplished everything she set out to do, both in her career and her personal life, no matter how formidable the challenges. And she did it her way.

Driven by Ambition Rosalyn came from a family of strong women. Her grandmother, Bertha, defied her prominent and affluent German family by marrying a tradesman. The couple immigrated to the US when their daughter, Clara, was

Reprinted from The Pharmacologist • September 2017

Profile for ASPET

2018 Special Compilation Issue of The Pharmacologist  

ASPET is pleased to present the second in a series of special editions of our quarterly news magazine, The Pharmacologist. This special com...

2018 Special Compilation Issue of The Pharmacologist  

ASPET is pleased to present the second in a series of special editions of our quarterly news magazine, The Pharmacologist. This special com...