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Janet D. Rowley (1925-2013)

Janet Rowley, MD

In 1972, Janet Rowley, MD, discovered a chromosomal translocation in acute myelogenous leukemia, the first time translocations were discovered in any human cancer. Her continuing research in this area led to a better understanding of the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer.

Among her many honors, Dr. Rowley, who served as the Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor at The University of Chicago, delivered the Ham-Wasserman Lecture at the 1995 ASH Annual Meeting. She also received three of ASH's highest awards: the William Dameshek Prize (1982), the Henry M. Stratton Medal (2003), and the Ernest Beutler Lecture and Prize (2011). In 2009, President Barack Obama awarded Dr. Rowley the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

An internationally recognized physician-scientist for her work on genetic abnormalities in leukemia and lymphoma, Dr. Rowley died on Tuesday, December 17, 2013, at her home in Chicago. She was 88.