Janet D. Rowley, M.D., D.Sc.

janet rowley

In Memoriam: Board Member 2002 - 2013

The University of Chicago
Blum Riese Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine
Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology and Human Genetics

Dr. Janet Davison Rowley is held in high esteem by her peers for her contributions to the field of oncology, particularly leukemia; she discovered the first consistent chromosome translocations in any human disease. She showed that the translocation in leukemia and lymphoma are specific for various subtypes of these malignancies. Of great importance to patients and their physicians, these translocations are excellent prognostic indicators of response to treatment. She is currently cloning the genes and analyzing the gene expression patterns that are affected by each of these translocations so that the biologic consequences will be better understood. She is studying not only standard gene expression using messenger RNA, but the newly observed neuro-RNA.

Since 1969, Dr. Rowley has been involved in pioneering research in the fight against cancer. Her work has won her numerous awards and honors including the Dameshek Prize, American Society of Hematology; the Kuwait Cancer Prize; the Woodward Visiting Professor of Medicine at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the de Villiers Award from the Leukemia Society of America; the Kaplan Family Prize for Cancer Research Excellence, the Laskar Award for Clinical Science, the Charles Mott Prize from the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, the Clowes Award, American Association for Cancer Research, the National Medal of Science; The Gaudner Foundation Award, The Benjamin Franklin Prize from the American Philosophical Society, The Henry Stratton Award from the American Society of Hematology, The Dorothy P. Landon Prize from the American Association for Cancer Research, and the Outstanding Investigator Grant from the National Cancer Institute, to name a few.

Dr. Rowley has also lectured on her work at some of the most prestigious conferences in the world: the Leukemia Research Fund; the Presidential Symposium sponsored by the American Society of Hematology; the Charlotte B. Ward Lecture at Children's Hospital, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard University; the XXI Congress of the International Society of Hematology; the Cosbie Lecturer at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons; the B.J. Kennedy Lecturer at the University of Minnesota Medical Center; the Distinguished Lecture Series, Yale University Cancer Center, the William C. Moloney Lecture at Brigham and Women's Hospital, etc.

Dr. Rowley received her B.S. and M.D from the University of Chicago, and holds honorary degrees of science from the University of Arizona, the University of Pennsylvania, Knox College, the University of Southern California, Saint Louis University, Oxford University (UK), the University of Lund (Sweden), the Medal for Science from The University of California San Francisco and Harvard University. She is also the co-founder and co-editor of Genes, Chromosomes, and Cancer.

Dr. Rowley passed away at the age of 88 on December 17, 2013 due to complications from ovarian cancer.