1901-1995 (94 years old)
Year of great discovery/work
1931 and 1957
As a microbiologist, Pittman classified types of Haemophilus influenzae bacteria and identified which strains cause meningitis in young infants. Of those strains she isolated (a-f), she determined that type b caused almost all cases of disease. Her career’s work also informed the standardization of vaccines and the development of a more effective pertussis vaccine.
In 1957, Pittman became the first female director of the National Institutes of Health.