About Institut Curie
Every day, Institut Curie's teams work to fight cancer. Doctors and researchers join forces and skills to make advances in research for the benefit of patients. Care, research and teaching are the three missions of the Institute, which combines Europe's leading cancer research center and a hospital group that is a reference in the fields of breast cancer, pediatric tumors, eye tumors, and sarcoma.
Institut Curie is eligible to receive donations and legacies, and can, thanks to the support of its donors, accelerate discoveries and thus improve treatments and patients quality of life.
“In life, there is nothing to fear and everything to understand”
Maria Sklodowska-Curie was born in Warsaw on November 7, 1867. She was a brilliant student and was accepted to study physics and mathematics at the Sorbonne in Paris in 1891.
In 1894, she met Pierre Curie, whom she married in July 1895. The following year, she came first in the physics "agrégation" exam. In December 1897, she began her thesis work on the study of radiation produced by uranium, discovered by Henri Becquerel. Using techniques developed by her husband, she analyzed the radiation from a uranium-rich ore: pitchblende. Conducting their research in a warehouse provided by the School of Physics and Chemistry, they discovered two new elements: Polonium and Radium. In 1903, Marie Curie defended her PhD thesis on radioactive substances. Along with her husband and Henri Becquerel, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics, becoming the first woman to receive a Nobel prize. Following Pierre's death in a traffic accident, she replaced him as professor and became the first woman to teach at the Sorbonne. On December 10, 1911, she received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Again, she was the first person to win two Nobel prizes for her scientific work. In 1914 the Radium Institute was set up, in which Marie Curie headed a laboratory. During the war, she participated in the design of mobile surgical units and radiology cars, nicknamed "Little Curies", which were sent to the battlefields. After the war, she traveled to the United States, where a tremendous fundraising campaign was organized by American women to finance her research. She became an international celebrity and participated in many conferences until the end of her life. Due to excessive exposure to radioactive elements, she suffered from leukemia, from which she died in the Sancellemoz sanatorium (Haute-Savoie, France) in 1934. On April 20, 1995, her ashes and those of her husband were transferred to the Paris Pantheon.