Born in Central City, Colorado, on November 9, 1871, Florence Rena Sabin, M.D. (1871-1953) was the youngest daughter of a mining engineer. After her mother's death from sepsis, Florence and her sister moved first to Chicago, then to stay with her paternal grandparents in Vermont.
She earned a bachelor's degree in 1893 from Smith College, then went to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where she became the first female graduate. She returned to the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine a few years later on a research fellowship. She started teaching in the Department of Anatomy in 1902, with a promotion to associate professor in 1905 and finally full professor of embryology and histology in 1917, becoming the first female full professor at the college.
She introduced techniques for staining living cells and played an important role in the reform of Colorado's health laws. Her statue still stands in the U.S. Capitol.