Google is commemorating the 131st birth anniversary of English haematologist Lucy Wills with a special doodle today. She has made a significant contribution towards improving women’s health through the study of blood. Her pioneering medical researcher’s analysis of prenatal anaemia changed the face of preventive prenatal care for women all over the world.

Know more about this wonder woman

  • She was born at Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham, England, in 1888. She grew up in an age when girls were encouraged to study and take up a profession.
  • She attended three schools that benefited from a more progressive approach to education. Her first school was Cheltenham College for Young Ladies, a British boarding school training female students in science and mathematics.
  • Thereafter, she studied botany and geology at Cambridge University’s Newnham College. From there, she received a certificate in 1911 because the university refused to grant women degrees until 1948.
  • In 1915, she enrolled at the London School of Medicine for Women and became a legally qualified medical practitioner in 1920. She earned bachelor degrees in medicine and science.

Her pioneering medical researcher’s analysis of prenatal anaemia altered the face of preventive prenatal care for women across the world.

  • Will didn’t opt for practicing medicine. Instead, she opted for research and teaching. She came to India in 1928 to study anemia in pregnant women. During her observations of different classes of Bombay women, she discovered a correlation between their dietary habits and the likelihood of their becoming anemic during pregnancy.
  • Eventually, she discovered that vitamin deficiency was to be blamed for this. During her clinical trials, she found that a laboratory monkey’s health improved after being fed the British breakfast spread Marmite, made of a cheap yeast extract.
  • Her discovery was the first step toward the creation of folic acid. For many years it was the Wills Factor until folic acid was named in 1941 when it was isolated from spinach.
  • In Summer 1929, Will moved her work to the Pasteur Institute of India in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu and in early 1931 she was working at the Caste and Gosha Hospital in Madras. In each of the summers of 1930, 1931 and 1932 she returned to England for a few months and continued her work in the pathology laboratories at the Royal Free, before returning full-time in 1933.
  • She was successful in achieving whatever she wanted to. This can be gauged by the fact that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now asks all the women of childbearing age to take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. She died in 1964 at the age of 75. She neither married nor had any children.

Celebrating women through Doodles

Google honours a bevy of prominent women who have left a mark in their respective fields through creative doodles. Most of these amazing bunch of women are pioneers in their field who not only debunked myths surrounding women’s capabilities but also worked towards empowering many others. Doodles have celebrated female heroes like Elisa Leonida Zamfirescu, Rukhmabai, Cornelia Sorabji, Aletta Jacobs, Zaha Hadid, Eva Ekeblad and many more. More power to each on of them.

Read Also: Five Women Doodlers Whose Works We Love

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