Janet Davison Rowley was an American human geneticist and the first scientist to identify a chromosomal translocation as the cause of leukemia and other cancers, thus proving that cancer is a genetic disease.
22 Facts About Janet Rowley
Janet Rowley Davison was born in New York City in 1925, the only child of Hurford and Ethel Ballantyne Davison.
Janet Rowley's father held a master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School, and her mother a master's degree in education from Columbia University.
Janet Rowley's parents were educators at the college and high school levels, respectively, and her mother later gave up teaching to become a school librarian.
Janet Rowley married Donald Adams Rowley, a physician, the day after graduating from medical school.
Janet Rowley then went on to become a distinguished pathologist later in life.
Janet Rowley continued her work throughout Chicago and worked in a clinic for children with Down Syndrome.
Janet Rowley worked part-time until the youngest of her four sons was 12 years old.
Janet Rowley taught neurology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.
Dr Janet Rowley then returned to the University of Chicago, as a research associate in the Department of Hematology.
Janet Rowley became an associate professor in 1969 and a full professor in 1977.
Janet Rowley identified translocation between chromosomes 8 and 21 in acute myelogenous leukemia, and between 15 and 17 in promyelocytic leukemia.
Janet Rowley aided in the discovery, through her research, of the formation of retinoid acid, a drug that is able to help return normal function to certain protein receptors.
When Dr Janet Rowley published her findings in the 1970s, she argued that specific translocations caused specific diseases, going against the established view of the cause of cancer which gave little significance to chromosomal abnormalities.
In 1984, Dr Janet Rowley was made the Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor of medicine, cell biology, molecular and human genetics at the University of Chicago.
Janet Rowley served as the interim deputy dean for science.
In 1999, Dr Janet Rowley received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.
In 2009, Dr Janet Rowley was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, by then-President Barack Obama, and the Gruber Prize in Genetics.
In 2012, Dr Janet Rowley was selected for the Hope Funds for Cancer Research Award of excellence in the area of Basic Research and was elected to the Hope Funds Scientific Advisory Board.
Janet Rowley is a member of multiple scientific and honorary societies.
Janet Rowley published more than five hundred articles and continued her research at the University of Chicago until shortly before her death.
On December 17,2013, Janet Rowley died at home at the age of 88 from complications of ovarian cancer.