In choice (A), the pronoun "they" has no clear reference; there is no logical plural noun for it to refer to, so we eliminate (A).
Choice (B) distorts the meaning of the sentence. The intended meaning of "recognized" in this sentence is that Marie Curie received recognition in the form of the prize. Choice (B) makes it sound, nonsensically, as if Marie Curie had already been a Nobel Prize recipient and then was "recognized to be" one. We can eliminate choice (B)—and choice (C), on similar grounds.
Choice (D) is clear and concise. Choice (E) creates a nonsensical clause, "the first woman recognized her," which would indicate something like Marie Curie recognizing herself or another woman, contrary to the intended meaning.
The correct answer is (D).
Since Marie Curie’s award in 1903, 49 women have been awarded a Noble Prize. Just last week, Tu Youyou and Svetlana Alexievich became the 48th and 49th women to join the exclusive club.