Janet D. Rowley

Janet Rowley, M.D.,  was a geneticist whose research established that cancer is a genetic disease. Her discovery of chromosomal exchanges revolutionized cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. She was recognized for her “bench-to-bedside” philosophy and her global leadership in oncology and biomedical communities. Before Dr. Rowley’s discoveries, few scientists suspected that chromosomal aberrations caused cancer.  Her research led directly to the development of the cancer drug imatinib, one of the most effective targeted cancer therapies to date, leading to 90% of patients with certain forms of leukemia being “cured” where previously life expectancy had been three to five years. Testimonials from such esteemed institutions as the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the University of Washington pay tribute to her role in medicine: “She laid the foundation for personalized cancer care and targeted therapy.” They continued: “an ongoing example of scientific wisdom and imagination combined with an impeccable professional and personal style” and “We are still working from her paradigm.” Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Genetics Prize of the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation in 2009 as well as fourteen honorary degrees, Dr. Rowley was Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology, and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago until her death.

Janet D. Rowley

Year Honored: 2017

Birth: 1925 - 2013

Born In: New York

Achievements: Science

Educated In: New Jersey, Illinois, United States of America

Schools Attended: University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, University of Chicago