Marie Curie

Marie Skłodowska Curie, born Maria Salomea Skłodowska, was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel prize twice, the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields, she was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris, she was born in Warsaw, in what was the Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire. She studied at Warsaw's clandestine Flying University and began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, aged 24, she followed her older sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work, she shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and physicist Henri Becquerel.

She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Her achievements include the development of the theory of radioactivity, techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, the discovery of two elements and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms using radioactive isotopes, she founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I she developed mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals. While a French citizen, Marie Skłodowska Curie, who used both surnames, never lost her sense of Polish identity, she took them on visits to Poland. She named the first chemical element. Marie Curie died in 1934, aged 66, at a sanatorium in Sancellemoz, France, of aplastic anaemia from exposure to radiation in the course of her scientific research and in the course of her radiological work at field hospitals during World War I. Maria Skłodowska was born in Warsaw, in Congress Poland in the Russian Empire, on 7 November 1867, the fifth and youngest child of well-known teachers Bronisława, née Boguska, Władysław Skłodowski.

The elder siblings of Maria were Józef, Bronisława and Helena. On both the paternal and maternal sides, the family had lost their property and fortunes through patriotic involvements in Polish national uprisings aimed at restoring Poland's independence; this condemned the subsequent generation, including Maria and her elder siblings, to a difficult struggle to get ahead in life. Maria's paternal grandfather, Józef Skłodowski, had been a respected teacher in Lublin, where he taught the young Bolesław Prus, who would become a leading figure in Polish literature. Władysław Skłodowski taught mathematics and physics, subjects that Maria was to pursue, was director of two Warsaw gymnasia for boys. After Russian authorities eliminated laboratory instruction from the Polish schools, he brought much of the laboratory equipment home and instructed his children in its use, he was fired by his Russian supervisors for pro-Polish sentiments and forced to take lower-paying posts. Maria's mother Bronisława operated a prestigious Warsaw boarding school for girls.

She died of tuberculosis in May 1878. Less than three years earlier, Maria's oldest sibling, had died of typhus contracted from a boarder. Maria's father was an atheist; the deaths of Maria's mother and sister caused her to become agnostic. When she was ten years old, Maria began attending the boarding school of J. Sikorska. After a collapse due to depression, she spent the following year in the countryside with relatives of her father, the next year with her father in Warsaw, where she did some tutoring. Unable to enrol in a regular institution of higher education because she was a woman and her sister Bronisława became involved with the clandestine Flying University, a Polish patriotic institution of higher learning that admitted women students. Maria made an agreement with her sister, Bronisława, that she would give her financial assistance during Bronisława's medical studies in Paris, in exchange for similar assistance two years later. In connection with this, Maria took a position as governess: first as a home tutor in Warsaw.

While working for the latter family, she fell in love with their son, Kazimierz Żorawski, a future eminent mathematician. His parents rejected the idea of his marrying the penniless relative, Kazimierz was unable to oppose them. Maria's loss of the relationship with Żorawski was tragic for both, he soon earned a doctorate and pursued an academic career as a mathematician, becoming a professor and rector of Kraków University. Still, as an old man and a mathematics professor at the Warsaw Polytechnic, he would sit contemplatively before the statue of Maria Skłodowska, erected in 1935 before the Radium Institu

Toshio Hirano

Toshio Hirano is a Japanese immunologist and academic, best known for his discovery of interleukin-6. Since August 2011, he has served as the 17th President of Osaka University. 1972 - graduated from Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University 1980 - assistant professor in the School of Medicine, Kumamoto University 1984 - assistant professor at Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Osaka University 1989 - professor at the same university 2004 - Dean of Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University 2008 - Dean of Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University August 2011 - the 17th president of Osaka University Erwin von Balz prize, 1986 CIBA-GEIGY Rheumatism Prize, 1990 Sandoz Prize for Immunology, 1992 Osaka Science Prize, 1997 Mochida Memorial Prize, 1998 ISI Citation Laureate Award, 1981–98, 2000 The Fujihara Award, 2004 The Fujiwara Foundation of Science Medical Award of The Japan Medical Association, 2005, The Japan Medical Association Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon, April, 2006 The Crafoord Prize in Polyarthritis 2009 The Japan Prize for the discovery of interleukin-6, 2011

Zou Kai

Zou Kai is a five-time Olympic and five-time World champion Chinese gymnast, specializing in floor exercise and the horizontal bar. Zou won his first three Olympic gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, resulting in a nomination for the Laureus World Sports Award for Breakthrough of the Year in 2009, he won two additional gold medals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. With a total of five gold medals and one bronze, Zou holds the record for most Olympic gold medals won by any Chinese athlete in Olympic history, is tied for the record of most medals won overall. Zou made his debut at the 2006 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Aarhus, helping the Chinese Team win gold, placing sixth at the individual floor exercise final. At the 2007 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Zou achieved the same results, winning the team competition and again placing sixth on floor. Zou participated in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, winning gold in the floor exercise and silver in the horizontal bar individual events, as well as a gold medal as part of the Chinese team.

On his Olympic debut at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Zou contributed to the team's gold and won unexpected individual gold medals on floor exercise and the horizontal bar scoring 16.050 and 16.200 respectively. Zou was the second Chinese Olympian to receive three gold medals at a single Olympic Games, following Li Ning who first achieved the feat at the 1984 Summer Olympics, was the most successful Chinese athlete at the Beijing Olympics, with the most gold medal wins. During the 2009 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in London, Zou won a gold medal in the individual horizontal bar event and won a silver medal at the floor exercise individual event. After being left out of the Chinese Gymnastic Team at both the 2010 World Championships in Rotterdam and 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou due to weaknesses in the apparatuses he did not specialize in, Zou again won two gold and one silver medals at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo, matching his feat back in 2009.

At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Zou led the team to win gold and successfully defended his Olympic title at the floor exercise, winning gold again, only the second to do so in the men's floor exercise following Soviet Gymnast Nikolai Andrianov who won the event in 1972 and 1976. He was unable to defend his title in the horizontal bar however, finishing less than two tenths of a point behind the lead winning a bronze medal in the event; the last gymnast to defend his Olympic title on the high bar was Mitsuo Tsukahara, who won the event in 1972 and 1976, at the same Olympics as Andrianov. With a total of five Olympic gold medals, Zou holds the record for most golds won by any Chinese athlete in Olympic history, by adding a bronze medal to the tally, he tied the record for most medals overall, with six. Zou participated in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, winning gold in both the floor exercise and horizontal bar individual events, as well as a bronze medal as part of the Chinese team.

Zou, a Sichuan native, auctioned off one of his Olympic gold medals in 2008, donating all proceeds to fund relief efforts in the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Out of the three gold medals he'd earned at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, he chose the medal won for his floor exercise routine for its special significance since only two other Chinese gymnasts had won it, Li Ning and Li Xiaoshuang. China at the 2008 Summer Olympics China at the 2012 Summer Olympics List of Olympic medalists in gymnastics List of multiple Olympic gold medalists List of multiple Olympic gold medalists at a single Games Zou Kai at the International Gymnastics Federation Zou Kai Profile at London Olympics Official Website