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NIH Record

Rowley To Give Pittman Lecture

Dr. Janet D. Rowley, who is internationally recognized for her work on leukemias and lymphomas, will present the NIH Director's Margaret Pittman Lecture in the Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series, Wednesday, Apr. 26, at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. The title of her talk is "Cancer Cytogenetics: Is it Passť?"

Following the development of banding techniques in the 1970's, Rowley and her colleagues led the way in characterizing a wide variety of specific translocations associated with subgroups of leukemias and lymphomas. Her research demonstrated the fundamental role of somatic genetic alterations in the pathogenesis of human tumors and their clonal development. Subsequently, her laboratory and many others have utilized modern molecular techniques to identity and characterize the altered growth regulatory genes at the sites of these chromosomal abnormalities, in both hematopoietic and solid tumors. The results are already being widely used in diagnosis, prognosis and patient management, and recently have demonstrated that their ultimate promise is leading to specific therapies.

Dr. Janet Rowley

In addition, Rowley is a forerunner in applying the polymerase chain reaction, fluorescence in situ hybridization, and other molecular techniques to clinical work. The precision and sensitivity of such tools have brought about a revolution in clinical oncology. This is especially important in establishing an accurate diagnosis and prognosis, along with a reasonable treatment plan.

Rowley has served on numerous boards, including most recently as chair of the board of scientific counselors for the National Human Genome Research Institute, as well as the National Cancer Advisory Board, National Cancer Institute and the American Board of Medical Genetics. She is a past president of the American Society of Human Genetics and is presently on both the scientific and medical advisory boards of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She is also a member of a number of societies including the National Academy of Sciences. Rowley is the cofounder and coeditor of the journal Genes, Chromosomes and Cancer and sits on the editorial boards of numerous scientific publications.

She has received many honors and awards, including the Charles S. Mott Prize from the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation, the Albert Lasker Clinical Research Award, and the National Medal of Science, presented by President Clinton.

Rowley has been a visiting scientist at Oxford and distinguished visiting professor at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. She has received honorary degrees from a number of institutions.

The lecture series honors Dr. Margaret Pittman, who was named, in 1958, chief of the Laboratory of Bacterial Products in the Division of Biologics Standards, which was part of NIH at the time. She is recognized for her significant contributions to microbiology, including work on the development of pertussis and tetanus toxin vaccines. She was also the first woman to hold the position of lab chief at NIH.

For more information or for reasonable accommodation, call Hilda Madine, 594-5595.

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