List of female Nobel laureates

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All Nobel Prizes won by women (1901-2018) Female nobel laureates.png
All Nobel Prizes won by women (1901-2018)

As of 2018, Nobel Prizes have been awarded to 853 men, 51 women (Marie Curie won it twice), and 24 unique organizations. [1]

Nobel Prize Set of annual international awards, primarily 5 established in 1895 by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize is a set of annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances.

Marie Curie Polish-French physicist and chemist

Marie Skłodowska Curie was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, and the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences. She was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.


The distribution of female Nobel Laureates is as follows: [2] [3]

Elinor Ostrom American political economist

Elinor Claire "Lin" Ostrom was an American political economist whose work was associated with the New Institutional Economics and the resurgence of political economy. In 2009, she was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for her "analysis of economic governance, especially the commons", which she shared with Oliver E. Williamson. To date, she remains the only woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics.

The first woman to win a Nobel Prize was Marie Curie, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 with her husband, Pierre Curie, and Henri Becquerel. [2] [4] Curie is also the only woman to have won multiple Nobel Prizes; in 1911, she won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Curie's daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935, making the two the only mother-daughter pair to have won Nobel Prizes. [2]

Pierre Curie French physicist

Pierre Curie was a French physicist, a pioneer in crystallography, magnetism, piezoelectricity and radioactivity. In 1903, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics with his wife, Marie Skłodowska-Curie, and Henri Becquerel, "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel".

Henri Becquerel French physicist

Antoine Henri Becquerel was a French engineer, physicist, Nobel laureate, and the first person to discover evidence of radioactivity. For work in this field he, along with Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Pierre Curie, received the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics. The SI unit for radioactivity, the becquerel (Bq), is named after him.

Irène Joliot-Curie French scientist

Irène Joliot-Curie was a French scientist, the daughter of Marie Curie and Pierre Curie and the wife of Frédéric Joliot-Curie. Jointly with her husband, Joliot-Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. This made the Curies the family with the most Nobel laureates to date. Both children of the Joliot-Curies, Hélène and Pierre, are also esteemed scientists.

The most Nobel Prizes awarded to women in a single year was in 2009, when five women became laureates in four categories.

The most recent women to be awarded a Nobel Prize were Donna Strickland in Physics, Frances Arnold in Chemistry, and Nadia Murad for Peace (2018).

Donna Strickland Canadian physicist and Nobel laureate

Donna Theo Strickland is a Canadian optical physicist and pioneer in the field of pulsed lasers. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018, together with Gérard Mourou, for the invention of chirped pulse amplification. She is a professor at the University of Waterloo.

Frances Arnold American chemist, Nobel laureate

Frances Hamilton Arnold is an American chemical engineer and Nobel Laureate. She is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). In 2018, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering the use of directed evolution to engineer enzymes.

Nadia Murad Yazidi human rights activist from Iraq and winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize

Nadia Murad Basee Taha is an Iraqi Yazidi human rights activist who lives in Germany. In 2014 she was kidnapped from her hometown Kocho and held by the Islamic State for three months.


1903 Marie Curie.jpg Marie Skłodowska Curie
(shared with Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel)
Poland and France Physics "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel" [4]
1905 Bertha von Suttner nobel.jpg Bertha von Suttner Austria–Hungary Peace Honorary President of Permanent International Peace Bureau, Bern, Switzerland; Author of Lay Down Your Arms. [5]
1909 Selma Lagerlof.jpg Selma Lagerlöf Sweden Literature "in appreciation of the lofty idealism, vivid imagination and spiritual perception that characterize her writings" [6]
1911 Marie Curie.jpg Marie Skłodowska Curie Poland and France Chemistry "for her discovery of radium and polonium" [7]
1926 Grazia Deledda 1926.jpg Grazia Deledda Italy Literature "for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general" [8]
1928 Sigrid Undset 1928.jpg Sigrid Undset Norway Literature "principally for her powerful descriptions of Northern life during the Middle Ages" [9]
1931 Jane Addams profile.jpg Jane Addams
(shared with Nicholas Murray Butler)
United States Peace Sociologist; International President, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. [10]
1935 Irene Joliot-Curie Harcourt.jpg Irène Joliot-Curie
(shared with Frédéric Joliot-Curie)
France Chemistry "for their synthesis of new radioactive elements" [11]
1938 Pearl Buck 1972.jpg Pearl S. Buck United States Literature "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces" [12]
1945 Gabriela Mistral-01.jpg Gabriela Mistral Chile Literature "for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world" [13]
1946 EmilyGreeneBalch.jpg Emily Greene Balch
(shared with John Raleigh Mott)
United States Peace Formerly Professor of History and Sociology; Honorary International President, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. [14]
1947 Gerty Theresa Cori.jpg Gerty Theresa Cori
(shared with Carl Ferdinand Cori and Bernardo Houssay)
United States Physiology or Medicine "for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen" [15]
1963 Maria Goeppert-Mayer.jpg Maria Goeppert-Mayer
(shared with J. Hans D. Jensen and Eugene Wigner)
United States Physics "for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure" [16]
1964 Dorothy Hodgkin Nobel.jpg Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin United Kingdom Chemistry "for her determinations by X-ray techniques of the structures of important biochemical substances" [17]
1966 Nelly Sachs 1966.jpg Nelly Sachs
(shared with Samuel Agnon)
Sweden and Germany Literature "for her outstanding lyrical and dramatic writing, which interprets Israel's destiny with touching strength" [18]
1976 Betty Williams.jpg Betty Williams United Kingdom Peace Founder of the Northern Ireland Peace Movement (later renamed Community of Peace People) [19]
Mairead Corrigan Gaza.jpg Mairead Maguire
1977 Rosalyn Yalow - portrait.jpg Rosalyn Sussman Yalow
(shared with Roger Guillemin and Andrew Schally)
United States Physiology or Medicine "for the development of radioimmunoassays of peptide hormones" [20]
1979 MotherTeresa 090.jpg Mother Teresa India and
Peace Leader of Missionaries of Charity, Calcutta. [21]
1982 ARB-Alva-Myrdal.jpg Alva Myrdal
(shared with Alfonso García Robles)
Sweden Peace Former Cabinet Minister; Diplomat; Writer. [22]
1983 Barbara McClintock (1902-1992).jpg Barbara McClintock United States Physiology or Medicine "for her discovery of mobile genetic elements" [23]
1986 Rita Levi Montalcini.jpg Rita Levi-Montalcini
(shared with Stanley Cohen)
Italy and
United States
Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of growth factors" [24]
1988 Nci-vol-8236-300 Gertrude Elion.jpg Gertrude B. Elion
(shared with James W. Black and George H. Hitchings)
United States Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment" [25]
1991 Nadine Gordimer 01.JPG Nadine Gordimer South Africa Literature "who through her magnificent epic writing has - in the words of Alfred Nobel - been of very great benefit to humanity" [26]
Remise du Prix Sakharov a Aung San Suu Kyi Strasbourg 22 octobre 2013-18.jpg Aung San Suu Kyi Burma Peace "for her non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights" [27]
1992 Rigoberta Menchu 2009 cropped.jpg Rigoberta Menchú Guatemala Peace "in recognition of her work for social justice and ethno-cultural reconciliation based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples" [28]
1993 Toni Morrison 2008-2.jpg Toni Morrison United States Literature "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality" [29]
1995 Christiane Nusslein-Volhard mg 4383.jpg Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard
(shared with Edward B. Lewis and Eric F. Wieschaus)
Germany Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the genetic control of early embryonic development" [30]
1996 Szymborska 2011 (1).jpg Wisława Szymborska Poland Literature "for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality" [31]
1997 JodyWilliamsMay2010.jpg Jody Williams
(shared with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines)
United States Peace "for their work for the banning and clearing of anti-personnel mines" [32]
2003 Shirin-Ebadi-Amsterdam-2011-Photo-by-Persian-Dutch-Network.jpg Shirin Ebadi Iran Peace "for her efforts for democracy and human rights. She has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children" [33]
2004 Elfriede jelinek 2004 small.jpg Elfriede Jelinek Austria Literature "for her musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that with extraordinary linguistic zeal reveal the absurdity of society's clichés and their subjugating power" [34]
Wangari Maathai portrait by Martin Rowe.jpg Wangari Maathai Kenya Peace "for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace" [35]
LindaBuck cropped 1.jpg Linda B. Buck
(shared with Richard Axel)
United States Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system" [36]
2007 Doris lessing 20060312 (square).jpg Doris Lessing United Kingdom Literature "that epicist of the female experience, who with scepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilisation to scrutiny" [37]
2008 Francoise Barre-Sinoussi-press conference Dec 06th, 2008-1.jpg Françoise Barré-Sinoussi
(shared with Harald zur Hausen and Luc Montagnier)
France Physiology or Medicine "for their discovery of HIV, human immunodeficiency virus" [38]
2009 Elizabeth Blackburn CHF Heritage Day 2012 Rush 001.JPG Elizabeth Blackburn
(shared with Jack W. Szostak)
Australia and United States Physiology or Medicine "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase" [39]
GREIDER Carol 2014 - Less vignetting.jpg Carol W. Greider
(shared with Jack W. Szostak)
United States
Ada E. Yonath.jpg Ada E. Yonath
(shared with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz)
Israel Chemistry "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome" [40]
Muller, Herta.IMG 9379 cropped.JPG Herta Müller Germany and Romania Literature "who, with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed" [41]
Nobel Prize 2009-Press Conference KVA-30.jpg Elinor Ostrom
(shared with Oliver E. Williamson)
United States Economics "for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons" [42]
2011 Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, April 2010.jpg Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Liberia Peace "For their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work" [43]
Leymah-gbowee-at-emu-press-conference.jpg Leymah Gbowee
Tawakkul Karman (Munich Security Conference 2012).jpg Tawakel Karman Yemen

Alice Munro.jpg

Alice Munro Canada Literature "master of the contemporary short story" [44]

May-Britt Moser 2014.jpg

May-Britt Moser
(shared with Edvard Moser and John O'Keefe)
Norway Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain" [45]
Malala Yousafzai at Girl Summit 2014.jpg Malala Yousafzai
(shared with Kailash Satyarthi)
Pakistan and India Peace "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education". [46]
2015 Tu Youyou 5012-1-2015.jpg Tu Youyou
(shared with William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura)
China Physiology or Medicine "for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria" [47]
Swetlana Alexandrowna Alexijewitsch.jpg Svetlana Alexievich Belarus Literature "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time" [48]
2018 Donna Strickland - 2017 (cropped).jpg Donna Strickland
(shared with Gérard Mourou and Arthur Ashkin)
Canada Physics "for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses" [49]
Frances Arnold 2012.png Frances Arnold
(shared with Gregory Winter and George Smith)
United States Chemistry "for the directed evolution of enzymes" [50]
Nadia Murad in Washington - 2018 (42733243785) (cropped).jpg Nadia Murad
(shared with Denis Mukwege)
Iraq Peace "for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict" [51]

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