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Dr Marie Maynard Daly #BHMwithBWiS


Dr Marie Maynard Daly


April 1922 - October 2003


American (father immigrated from the British West Indies)

Dr Marie Maynard Daly


Daly's parents, Ivan (father) and Helen (mother), were big on education. Ivan began a Chemistry degree that he was unable to complete due to a lack of funds. In 1961, Daly married Vincent Clark.


1942 Receives BSci (Hons) Chemistry, Queens College NY

1943 Receives MSci Chemistry, New York University NY

1947 Receives PhD Chemistry, Columbia University NY

Scientific career

Daly's PhD thesis, A study of the product formed by the action of pancreatic amylase on corn starch, discovered how bodily chemicals contribute to food digestion in the human body. After completing her PhD, Daly got a grant to work at the American Cancer Society where she examined protein construction in the human body for the next seven years.

Later, Daly worked with Dr Q Deming researching the cause of heart attacks (specifically the metabolism of the arterial wall and its relation to ageing, hypertension and atherosclerosis). This wok contributed largely to what we know today of how dietary habits affect cardiac and circulatory health.

For two years, Daly was a member of the board of governor of the New York Academy of Sciences an continued to gain prestigious fellows throughout her career (including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, New York Academy of Sciences and Council on Atherosclerosis of the American Heart Association).

Daly worked as an activist and worked tirelessly to get students of colour enrolled in medical schools and graduate science programmes. She also later started a scholarship, for ethnic minority students who wished to study science at her previous university.


Dr Daly was the first black woman to get a PhD in Chemistry in the United States of America. After her PhD. Daly's work was ground-breaking and contributed to clarification on how the body works.

In 1971, Daly was promoted to associate professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University.

In 1986, Daly retired and became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

In 1999, Daly was rightly recognised as one of the top 50 women in Science, Engineering and Technology b the National Technical Association.

In 2016, a school in her hometown was named in her honour: The Dr Marie M. Daly Academy of Excellence.

Useful links

Marie Maynard Daly (Wikipedia)

Marie Maynard Daly: Biochemist (The Faces of Science)

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