Women’s History Month has come to a close, but Google is extending the celebration a day longer by honouring medical scientist Dame Jean Macnamara (April 1, 1899 – October 13, 1968) with its April 1st Doodle.
Today would have been her 121st birthday.
The artwork features the Victoria, Australia native helping a patient on crutches — a nod towards Dr. Macnamara’s extensive research into paralysis and her contributions to the development of a polio vaccine in 1955.
The artwork was created by Sydney-based artist Thomas Campi.
Dr. Macnamara graduated from medical school in 1925, coinciding with a polio epidemic in Australia’s capital city Melbourne.
Collaborating with the future Nobel Laureate Sir Macfarlane Burnet, Dr. Macnamara discovered in 1931 there was more than one strain of the poliovirus. This proved to be a foundational step towards her helping develop an effective vaccine nearly 25 years later.
Dr. Macnamara spent her entire career caring for polio sufferers, especially children, working to devise new treatments and therapies.
Her research also influenced the introduction of myxomatosis to control rabbit plagues.
She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1935.