Born Maria Salomea Skłodowska in Warsaw, then Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire, Marie Curie is a Polish scientist and researcher known as one of the pioneers in studies related to radioactivity. Even with the studies begun in 1891 at Floating University in Warsaw, at the age of 24, she followed her older sister to study in Paris, where she obtained her degree in physics in 1893 at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and won a scholarship to study mathematics at the same institution.
Over the years she became an acclaimed scientist and was the first woman admitted as a professor at the University of Paris. She was also the first woman in history to receive a Nobel Prize, and the first person – and only woman until nowadays- to win the award twice. The first of them was the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903, which she shared with her husband, Pierre Curie, and the physicist Henri Becquerel for the development of radioactivity theory. And the second was the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911, which she received for the discovery and studies of the radio and polonium elements. The discovery of the two elements contributed to the development of the X-ray apparatus, which made Marie go to the field during World War I, carrying portable X-ray devices to assist the care of wounded soldiers.
The long exposure to radiation from her studies, and the habit of carrying radio tests in her pockets- during the research and throughout her service in World War I – drove Marie to death in 1934, at age 66, a victim of leukemia. But even after her death, she made history by becoming the first woman to be buried on her own merits at the Paris Pantheon, where her remains were transferred in 1995. Founder of the Radio Institute in Paris, where recognized scientists were trained, Marie showed an altruistic attitude not patenting the process of isolation of the element, allowing the investigation of the element properties of it throughout all the scientific community.
With a work that paved the way for scientific and medical research, Marie led and still leads many scientists to important discoveries to humanity. At a time when science was dominated by men, Marie Curie made a real revolution in the scientific field and in history itself, breaking down barriers for all female scientists and researchers who succeeded her.