As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I was never taught about the lives of many female scientists.
Yet, there are women who have made miraculous discoveries in the science world that don’t get talked about enough or receive as much recognition as they deserve.
One of those women is Flossie Wong-Staal, who made fundamental discoveries that furthered research on HIV and AIDS.
Flossie was born in Guangzhou, China, in 1946. Her family moved to Hong Kong in 1952, and she attended an all-girls school where she thrived in science.
Her loved ones encouraged her to continue her studies in the United States, so she moved to California to attend the University of California in San Diego when she was 18.
After receiving her Bachelor of Science in bacteriology, Flossie earned her Ph.D. in molecular biology from UCLA in 1972.
A year later, Flossie moved to Bethesda, Maryland, to work for the National Cancer Institute and conduct research in retroviruses.
By 1982, when the HIV/AIDS epidemic first broke out, she became the chief of the Section of Molecular Genetics of Hematopoietic Cells. She and her team began honing in on studying HIV.
Then, Flossie made a groundbreaking achievement in the medical and science world when she became the first person to clone HIV. It was a critical step in HIV/AIDS research and helped to prove that HIV is the cause of AIDS.