Chemist Alice Augusta Ball

Black and white photograph of Alice Augusta Ball wearing academic regalia including a mortarboard and graduation gown, indicating her status as a graduate. She has short, curly hair and a light expression, gazing slightly to the side of the camera.
Alice Augusta Ball

Alice Augusta Ball was a chemist who, despite the racial and gender barriers of her time, made groundbreaking contributions to medical science by developing a treatment for leprosy, which until then had been a sentence to a life of isolation and stigma for those afflicted. The injectable form of medication that she developed proved so successful that by 1918, 78 people treated with her technique were free of lesions and able to be discharged from Kalihi Hospital in Hawaii. Alice’s discovery was the only effective treatment for leprosy until the 1940s.

Sadly, Alice died young, at only 24, in 1916. 

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