1921-

Isabella Helen Lugoski Karle

Location: Fourth Floor, Elevator area, East Wall, Sequence 5

Source: Dr. Karle

Sponsor: Donald L. Ward


Isabella Karle made pioneering contributions to determining the three-dimensional structures of molecules by developing new X-Ray crystallographic methods. Her husband, Jerome Karle, (Nobel, 1985, Chemistry) and others worked out a mathematical theory for direct methods and Isabella, through her "symbolic addition procedure" revolutionized in a practical experimental way the types and complexity of structures that could be solved. As head of the Naval Research Laboratory's X-ray Diffraction Section for the Structure of Matter she has determined the structures of numerous biologically and medicinally important compounds, including peptides, antibiotics, toxins, and antimalarials. Born in Detroit to Polish immigrants, Dr. Karle first learned English when she entered the Detroit public schools; she took her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Michigan.