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Joyce Jacobson Kaufman

Joyce Jacobson Kaufman
Watercolor on 12″ x 9″ watercolor paper
The latest addition to the ‘She Changed the World’ Collection!

Joyce Jacobson (1929-2016), inspired by Marie Curie, herself went on to become one of the most prominent scientists in the fields of physics, chemistry, supercomputers and biomedicine. Born in the Bronx and raised in Baltimore, she showed an early aptitude for science and attended a summer program for gifted children at Johns Hopkins University when she was only 8. In 1945 she was admitted to Johns Hopkins as a ‘special student’, as the university didn’t admit women as students until 1970.

After working as a research chemist at the Army Chemical Center she went back to Johns Hopkins for her doctorate. Afterwards her career took her to the Sorbonne as a visiting scientist, researching theoretical physics before becoming the leader of the quantum chemistry group at the Research Institute for Advanced Studies of the Martin Marietta Company. In 1969 Joyce joined Johns Hopkins as their principal research scientist as well as an associate professor of anesthesiology.

Joyce’s work was groundbreaking in numerous fields including drug design, quantum chemistry, pharmacology, and the chemical compounds like explosives and rocket fuels. One of her greatest innovations was a strategy for computer prediction of toxicology and drug reactions, and chemical calculations on carcinogens.

Inspired by arguably the greatest scientist in human history, Joyce’s own work has saved countless lives and one can only imagine how many young people will in turn be inspired by her.

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