Alice Ball, a chemist, developed the first successful treatment for Hansen’s disease, also known as leprosy. During the 1900s, those diagnosed with leprosy faced severe social discrimination and banishment, so Ball’s work enabled thousands of outcasted individuals to return home. Also, Ball was one of the first African-American women to receive a master’s degree in chemistry, and became the first female chemistry professor of the College of Hawaii. Due to other people taking credit for her work, she was largely forgotten, but recently she has received proper recognition for her work on leprosy and overcoming racial and gender barriers in science.

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