Investments in research and development (R&D) are leading to tremendous scientific breakthroughs in health. Just in the last few years, scientists have made tremendous advancements. For several cancers, novel treatments have diminished deathly prognoses. New surgical techniques have reduced recovery time and leave scars smaller than a penny. Just within the last decade, the cost of DNA sequencing has declined so much that personalized medicine is on the cusp of becoming quotidian.
It was over fifty years ago now, but my mother Susan can still recall that dark, concrete hospital ward at what was then known as the Cincinnati General Hospital. At just six years old, she found herself in a white bed partitioned off from her neighbors by glass. On her left, a young man in an iron lung; on her right, a baby who wouldn’t stop screaming. She remembers falling dangerously ill in the summer of 1960 during a road trip to Williamsburg, Virginia with her family, and remembers the ensuing days of indescribable pain.
World Polio Day is a day to take stock of our remarkable progress and to rededicate ourselves to the eradication of polio.
When discussing women pioneers in science, several names in particular seem to always make their way into the conversation: Marie Curie, Nettie Stevens, Rosalind Franklin. However, few have heard of a talented microbiologist and immunologist whose work has helped to save the lives of millions of children and pave the way for future generations of women scientists: Ruth Bishop.

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