Rachel Fuller Brown

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Date of Birth November 23, 1898
Place of Birth Springfield, Massachusetts
Date of Death Jan 14, 1980 (81)
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Rachel Fuller Brown

Rachel Fuller Brown was a chemist best known for her long-distance collaboration with microbiologist Elizabeth Lee Hazen in developing the first useful antifungal antibiotic, nystatin, while doing research for the Division of Laboratories and Research of the New York State Department of Health. Brown received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College and her Ph.D from the University of Chicago. She was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994. Nystatin, still produced today under various trade names, not only cures a variety of potentially devastating fungal infections, but has also been used to combat Dutch Elm disease in trees and to restore artwork damaged by water and mold.

Born: Nov 23, 1898, Springfield, Massachusetts
Died: Jan 14, 1980, Albany, New York
Nationality: United States
Fields: Organic chemistry, bacteriology
Alma mater: University of Chicago
Known for: Co-discovery of antifungal agent nystatin with Elizabeth Lee Hazen
Notable awards: Quibb Award in Chemotherapy (1955), Rhoda Benham Award of the Medical Mycological Society of the Americas (1972), American Institute of Chemists' Chemical Pioneer Award (1975), National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee (1994)

About Rachel Fuller Brown

Developer of one of the first widely-used antibiotics, Nystatin, which she created with Elizabeth Lee Hazen by mail correspondence. She was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994.

Before Fame

She and Hazen were colleagues at the New York Department of Health, but stationed in different cities, when they combined their knowledge to find an anti-fungal antibiotics.


Her invention not only helped cure many disabling diseases, but was also used to help rescue water-logged works of art from mold growth and for keeping trees free from pests.

Family Life

She was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, her father George Hamilton Brown was a real estate and insurance agent.


Anna Fisher was another prominent female scientist - she flew aboard STS-51-A, as one of the first women to go into space.

Information related to Rachel Fuller Brown

  • Shimer College faculty
  • 20th-century American chemists
  • Women inventors
  • Mount Holyoke College alumni
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Latest information about Rachel Fuller Brown updated on January 21, 2021.

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