University of Chicago research scientist, Dr. Janet Rowley, will be honored
Wednesday, August 12 with a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Dr. Janet Rowley and husband Dr. Donald Rowley are longtime residents of
Tomorrow President Barack Obama will award the Medals of Freedom, the
nation’s highest civilian honor, to Rowley and 15 others at a ceremony in
Dr. Rowley will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her cancer
chromosome studies. Her discoveries showed cancer is a genetic disease.
According to reports, the discovery of recurring chromosomal abnormalities
in leukemias and lymphomas are findings that have revolutionized how cancer
is understood and treated.
Dr. Rowley has a long history of awards and honors. Last spring she was on
the podium when president Obama signed the stem cell executive order and
scientific integrity memorandum.
Rowley, 84, is the Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine,
Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology and Human Genetics at the University of
Chicago. Her honors include both the Lasker Award and the National Medal of
Science in 1998 and, most recently, this year’s Genetics Prize from The
Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation. She continues to head an active
laboratory that focuses on the connections between genetic changes and
cancer, especially leukemia.
As stated in a press release, “The Medal of Freedom validates the enthusiasm
that still inspires Rowley to bicycle from her Hyde Park home to her
laboratory daily at the age of 84. ‘It’s a recognition not of me but of our
research,’ she said. ‘Our discoveries have had a major impact on the
treatment and on the lives of patients with leukemia, especially those with