University of Melbourne-
121 years ago, on April 1, 1899, Dame Jean Macnamara, an Australian doctor and medical scientist whose work contributed to the development of a vaccine for polio, was born.
Now, she’s being honored with a new Google Doodle depicting her time spent treating and rehabilitating young polio patients.
Macnamara graduated from medical school at the University of Melbourne, and eventually started her career at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. During this time, she began to focus on polio, according to Google.
It was a career that paved the way for others: Macnamara’s work with Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet, a future Nobel Prize winner, led to her finding that there was more than just one strain of the poliovirus in 1931, a crucial discovery in developing a vaccine for polio years later.
She also continued working with polio patients throughout her life, earning her an appointment as Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1935, according to a statement from Google.
To craft a Doodle honoring Macnamara’s inspiring life, Google called on Sydney-based artist Thomas Campi.
Asked about the significance of the project to him, Campi told Google, “As an Italian immigrant who recently became a citizen, I feel honoured to celebrate such an important woman in this country. The second reason is more personal—my cousin has struggled with Polio all his life, so I feel a lot of appreciation and gratitude to people like Dame Jean Macnamara.”
Campi wants people to take an uplifting message away from his Doodle: “Hope. There’s always hope—at least that is how I see life. Without pain, there is no happiness.”