Alice Augusta Ball -Ball was born on July 24, 1892, in Seattle, Washington, the third of four children. -July 24, 1892 – December 31, 1916 -pharmaceutical chemist -Ball was also the very first African American and the very first woman to graduate with a M.S. degree in chemistry from the College of Hawaii (now known as the University of Hawaii). -an African-American chemist who developed the first successful treatment for those suffering from Hansen’s disease (leprosy). - The chairman of the Chemistry Department at the University of Hawaii continued refining the research work of Ball, treating many patients successfully at Kalaupapa, a special hospital for Hansen disease patients. The “Ball method” continued to be the most effective method of treatment until the 1940s and as late as 1999 one medical journal indicated the “Ball Method” was still being used to treat Hansen disease patients in remote areas. Leprosy Treatment – The Ball Method After earning undergraduate degrees in pharmaceutical chemistry (1912) and pharmacy (1914) from the University of Washington, Alice Ball transferred to the College of Hawaii (now known as the University of Hawaii) and became the very first African American and the very first woman to graduate with a M.S. degree in chemistry in 1915. She was offered a teaching and research position there and became the institution’s very first woman chemistry instructor. She was only 23 years old. As a laboratory researcher, Ball worked extensively to develop a successful treatment for those suffering from Hansen’s disease (leprosy). Her research led her to create the first injectable leprosy treatment using oil from the chaulmoogra tree, which up until then, was only a moderately successful topical agent that was used in Chinese and Indian medicine. Ball successfully isolated the oil into fatty acid components of different molecular weights allowing her to manipulate the oil into a water soluble injectable form. Ball’s scientific rigor resulted in a highly successful method to alleviate leprosy symptoms, later known as the “Ball Method,” that was used on thousands of infected individuals for over thirty years until sulfone drugs were introduced. The “Ball Method” was so successful, leprosy patients were discharged from hospitals and facilities across the globe including from Kalaupapa, an isolation facility on the north shore of Molokai, Hawaii where thousands of people suffering from leprosy died in years prior. Thanks to Alice Ball, these banished individuals could now return to their families, free from the symptoms of leprosy.