Cancer geneticist Janet Rowley has died, the Associated Press reports. She was 88. Working at the University of Chicago, Rowley studied leukemia and connected the disease to genetic aberrations. In particular, she uncovered translocations within leukemic cells. The AP notes that this discovery led to new treatments for leukemia.
"Janet Rowley's work established that cancer is a genetic disease," said the University of Washington's Mary-Claire King in a statement issued by the University of Chicago. "She demonstrated that mutations in critical genes lead to specific forms of leukemia and lymphoma, and that one can determine the form of cancer present in a patient directly from the genetic changes in the cancer. We are still working from her paradigm."
Rowley has received National Medal of Science as well as the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
"I've never regretted being in science and being in research," Rowley said upon receiving the presidential award in 2009. "The exhilaration that one gets in making new discoveries is beyond description."