Gertrude Elion majored in Chemistry and graduated from Hunter College at the age of 19. Because she was a woman, no laboratory would hire her as a chemist. However, World War II provided an opportunity for work. By 1951, Elion had discovered the first effective compound against childhood leukemia. Eventually, this drug 6MP (trade name Purinethol), used in combination with other drugs and radiation treatment, would make leukemia one of the most curable cancers and win her the Nobel Prize.