Rosalyn Yalow was born in the Bronx New York daughter of Caire and Simon Sussman. She went to New York city schools. She graduated Hunter College in 1941 and was working as secretary despite her interest in science. When World War II broke out she was offered a teaching assistanceship at the Univeristy of Illinois where she received her Phd in Physics. She married Aaron Yalow in 1943. They returned to New York after the war where she began working for the Bronx Veterans Hospital. There she and her colleague Solomon Berson collaborated on the development of the radioimmunoassay, which revolutionized medical detection methods. In 1977 she won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work.
In addition to her ground-breaking work in medicine, Yalow has been an important champion of the cause of women in science.