Although Henrietta Lacks wasn't a doctor or medical professional, she deserves her place on this list.
Henrietta died in 1951 of an aggressive form of cervical cancer, but her cancerous cells were unique because they were pretty much indestructible. The doctors who took these samples during her diagnosis shared her cells with researchers, who continued to share them widely with other scientists.
It's important to understand that this was done without Henrietta's consent. Henrietta's story demonstrates the ingrained racial inequities embedded in healthcare systems across the world.
Her cells became the backbone of a lot of biological research, and a significant amount of modern medicine comes from the work on HeLa cells.
Henrietta is often called the "mother of modern medicine".