1 Muriel Robertson was a pioneering scientist who went against the grain in a male-dominated field. Born in Glasgow in 1883, she was the seventh of 12 children to Elizabeth Ritter and her husband, engineer Robert Andrew Robertson.

2 Her ground-breaking work on tropical disease helped establish Glasgow as one of the world’s leading centres of research into parasitic diseases such as malaria and her work continues to inspire scientists today.

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3 Muriel studied at Glasgow University with male students who refused to be taught alongside women. Initially, she completed a Bachelor of Arts, which included zoology and botany as part of the curriculum. It was enough to spark her interest and she received her first piece of research from her zoology professor while she was still a student. Muriel travelled alone to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Uganda for her research into African sleeping sickness – reportedly cycling through the forests for her studies - and finally obtained her Doctor of Science in 1923.

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4 Throughout her life, Muriel made a number of breakthroughs on how sleeping sickness was transferred and was one of the first women to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1947. During both world wars she made significant progress on identification of the types of Clostridium found in soil which cause gas gangrene, a frequent cause of death among soldiers.

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5 Muriel continued her research in Cambridge and despite officially retiring in 1948, worked at the Lister Institute in London until 1961. She was still lecturing at the age of 80 and died 10 years later in 1973.