Daisy Roulland-Dussoix

You've probably heard of Rosalind Franklin, the X-ray crystallographer whose work was crucial to solving the structure of DNA, yet who did not get to share in the Nobel prize for this accomplishment. Stories like this are all too frequent, and this week WiSE would like to honor another one of the incredible female scientists who never received the recognition she deserved. Microbiologist Daisy Roulland-Dussoix, born in Switzerland in 1936, played crucial roles in work for which her male colleagues were awarded Nobel prizes. As a graduate student at the University of Geneva, she co-discovered restriction enzymes, bacterial proteins capable of cleaving DNA. This finding opened the door to genome editing and cloning technologies that sparked the rise of molecular biology. Her advisor, Werner Arber, was awarded the Nobel prize for this discovery in 1978. Later in her career, Daisy moved to the University of California, San Francisco, were she researched protoncogenes wit Harold Varmus, who received the Nobel prize in 1989. In 1980, Daisy moved to Paris, were she served as Group Head of the Mycoplasma Laboratory at the Pasteur Institute. She died in January 2014. It is crucial that we preserve the stories of women like Daisy - they may not have been decorated with medals, but they can still be prized.