Born in Poland in 1867, Marie Curie is one of the most famous female scientists in the history of physics and chemistry. This included her pioneering work in Radioactivity, and she holds the distinct honor of being the first person who was ever awarded two Nobel Prizes. That includes the Nobel Prize in both physics and chemistry. Curie was a professor at the University of Paris, which was also a first for a female at the time, and helped create a wide legacy that encouraged other females to enter into the previously male-dominated world of the physical sciences.
The world's first studies of radioactivity were undertaken by Marie Curie. She created a theory of radioactivity, pioneered new techniques of isolating radioactive isotopes, and also discovered two completely new elements in the process. These included polonium and radium. The radioactive isotopes that were isolated were then put into a treatment of cancerous cells, which was the basis of the radiation therapy that is still used to this day to treat cancer. Curie was educated at the University of Paris, where her older sister also studied. This was where she made her home base for research after graduating with her higher degrees.
As a matter of her thirst for further research capabilities, Marie Curie founded Curie Institutes in Paris and Warsaw. She worked together with her husband, Pierre Curie, who also shared her Nobel Prize in physics. A family tradition, her daughter and son-in-law also managed to be awarded a shared Nobel Prize. She went on to found The Radium Institute in 1932 in Warsaw that served as a further home base for research into the field of radioactivity. This was the beginning of a whole new branch of science, and is Curie's greatest legacy into the world of chemistry.
A further legacy that Marie Curie was able to leave behind was a change in perceptions about the role of women in the scientific world. She was admired by her peers such as Albert Einstein, and despite growing fame she managed to keep her focus on the field that she loved, that of physics and chemistry. Her life has been adapted into a number of books and films, which focus just as much on the feminist aspects of her life as of being ahead of her time scientifically as well. In the end, however, radiology was the most important aspect of her life's work, and that is what she will be remembered for.