Lise Meitner was born into a Austrian Jewish family and though she had converted to Christianity, she had to flee to Sweden when the Nazis came to power in 1938. Independently and with her closest colleague Otto Hahn, she had made important discoveries in the new field of nuclear physics. At the University of Berlin in 1936, she became the first woman in Germany appointed to a full professorship in physics. Meitner and her nephew Otto Frisch explained nuclear fission in a paper published in Nature on February 11, 1939. However, the Nobel committee failed to comprehend her role in the work and she did not share in the 1944 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for nuclear fission awarded to Hahn. Element 109, Meitnerium, is named in her honor.