Marie Curie (born 1867 to well-known teachers: father Wladyslaw Sklodowski and mother Bronislawa Boguska) was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win the Nobel prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields.
Since the protagonists of the series meet these ordinary people when they are children, at the time her name would have been Maria Sklodowska, as she did not marry her husband Pierre Curie until 1895 when she was 28 years old. She mentions that she built her own lab. Historically, she did this using lab equipment that her father brought home after the Russian government eliminated laboratory instruction from Polish schools. Her father taught her how to use the equipment.
When Marie was eight years old, her oldest sister Zofia died of typhus, and Marie's mother Bronislawa died of tuberculosis when Maria was ten years old.