Isabella Karle

American physical chemist

Isabella Helen Karle (née Lugoski; December 2, 1921 – October 3, 2017) was an American scientist. She was instrumental in developing techniques to remove plutonium chloride from a mixture containing plutonium oxide. She worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993.[1]

Karle in 2009

For her scientific work, Karle has received the Garvan–Olin Medal, Gregori Aminoff Prize, Bower Award, National Medal of Science, and the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award (which is the Navy's highest form of recognition to civilian employees).

Karle was born in Detroit, Michigan. She studied at the University of Michigan. In 1942, she married Jerome Karle, a Nobel Prize winner.[2] They had three children. Karle died on October 3, 2017 at a hospice in Alexandria, Virginia of brain cancer at the age of 95.[3]


  1. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter K" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  2. Jerome Karle: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1985 Archived 2013-06-06 at the Wayback Machine, Nobel Prize. Accessed September 22, 2009.
  3. "Isabella L. Karle, chemist who helped reveal structure of molecules, dies at 95". Washington Post.

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