4. Jane C. WrightJane C. Wright was known as a pioneer of cancer research and is most notable for her contributions to chemotherapy. She is credited with creating a technique that used human tissue culture instead of laboratory mice to test how drugs would affect cancer cells. Wright is also noted for pioneering the use of methotrexate to treat breast cancer and skin cancer.
Wright attended Smith College in 1942 where she earned an art degree. In 1945, she obtained her medical degree from New York Medical College. She did her residencies at Bellevue Hospital from 1945 to 1946 and Harlem Hospital from 1947 to 1948, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Wright became a researcher at New York University’s Bellevue Medical Center, where her work focused on studying the effects of drugs on tumors. She was the first person to discover that methotrexate was effective against cancerous tumors. The drug is known as a foundational chemotherapy drug.
She continued her work in chemotherapeutics and worked on administering sequential and dosage variations to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy instead of giving patients multiple drug. In doing so, she identified treatments for breast cancer and skin cancer that increased the life span of skin cancer patients by up to 10 years.