Janet Rowley, cancer genetics pioneer, dies at 88

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Associated Press

Posted on December 18, 2013 at 11:34 AM

CHICAGO (AP) — Dr. Janet Rowley, a pioneer in cancer genetics research, has died at age 88.

The University of Chicago, where Rowley obtained her medical degree and spent most of her career, says in a statement she died Tuesday of ovarian cancer complications at her home near the university.

Rowley did landmark research with leukemia in the 1970s, linking cancer with genetic abnormalities — work that led to targeted drug treatment for leukemia. She identified a genetic process called translocation, now widely accepted. By 1990, more than 70 translocations had been identified in various cancers, according to her biography on the National Library of Medicine's website.

She is a recipient of the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest scientific honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

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