Joliot-Curie, Irène (1897–1956), French physicist, daughter of Pierre and Marie Curie. She and her husband, Frédéric Joliot-Curie (1900–58), shared the 1935 Nobel Prize in chemistry for artificially producing radioactive materials by bombarding elements with alpha particles. In 1940 they turned their attention to the chain reaction in nuclear fission. Both helped organize the French atomic energy commission, but Frédéric was removed as first chairman in 1950 because of his leftist political views. Irène became chairwoman in 1951. Like her mother, Irène died from leukemia probably contracted as a result of prolonged exposure to radioactive materials.