Janet D. Rowley, M.D.
Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology and Human Genetics University of Chicago.
Early in her career, Dr. Rowley recieved financial support for the Cancer Research Foundation. In 1972, at the University of Chicago, Dr. Rowley made a discovery that led the way to prove that cancer had genetic causes, a theory that had been rejected by the scientific community up until that time. Her discoveries additionally led to the development of the drug Gleevec, which remains one of the most effective treatments for certain forms of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia.
In 1998, she was awarded the Lasker Award for her work on chromosomal translocation, and she received the National Medal of Science from President Clinton in 1999. Just recently in 2009, Dr. Rowley was awarded the United States' highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama as well as the Gruber Prize in Genetics.
In discussing her funding from the Cancer Research Foundation, Dr. Rowley has said:
"The most difficult time in the career of a beginning young scientist is the first few years. One has no track record just when the need for money to hire a technician to help with experiments, to buy supplies, is the greatest. Supporting such an individual is risky; one cannot be assured of success!
The Cancer Reserach Foundation has been willing to bet on promising young scientists, to take risks."
"Thanks to the hard work, commitment, and compassion of scientists, researchers, and organizations like the Cancer Research Foundation, there is renewed hope for discovering better treatments and eventually a cure for cancer.
I commend all of you for your outstanding contributions to the field of cancer research. For five decades, your commitment to the crusade against cancer has given hope and comfort to people across the nation."
Former President of the United States
May 05, 1997