Discovered artificial radioactivity and, with her husband Frederic, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935.
She was the daughter of Marie and Pierre Curie and grew up surrounded by science, showing an aptitude for mathematics.
She married Frederic in 1926 and they continued to work together, studying how artificially produced radioactive elements could be used therapeutically or industrially.
During World War II, Irene worked tirelessly within France’s Resistance movement helping Jewish refugees escape Nazi persecution. The couple made contributions toward the later development of atomic weapons technology. She was one of the first women to be a member of a French government, becoming the undersecretary for Scientific Research.
Irene died at the age of 58 from leukemia, possibly due to her exposure to polonium-210.