Marie Maynard Daly, (1921-2003)
Corona, Queens, New York City, USA
Digital Illustration, 24" x 32", 2022
Marie Maynard Daly was a prolific scientist and the first African American woman in the U.S. to earn her Ph.D. in Chemistry (Columbia University) in 1947. She made groundbreaking contributions to protein synthesis, the chemistry of histones, creatine's uptake by muscle cells, and most importantly, the relationship between cholesterol and hypertension.
With the help of her colleagues, she was one of the earliest chemists to study diet in relation to the health of the cardiac and circulatory systems. She found that hypertension was the precursor to atherosclerosis and that cholesterol could lead to clogged arteries. These significant findings led to our understanding of how heart disease and heart attacks occur.
Daly published most of her work, which was later cited by scientists James Watson and Francis Crick, who went on to win the Nobel Prize in 1962 for their work on the DNA structure.