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Pairings: Aug 5, 2009

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Janet Davison Rowley will receive the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom for her discovery of recurring chromosomal abnormalities in leukemias and lymphomas, the White House announced last week.

"By showing that unique genetic abnormalities are the root cause of cancer, Rowley laid the foundation for personalized cancer care and targeted therapy," Richard Schilsky, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and past president of the American Society for Clinical Oncology, said in a statement.

Rowley is a distinguished service professor of medicine at the University of Chicago's division of molecular genetics, cell biology and human genetics. She has received many honors for her work in genetics, including both the Lasker Award and the National Medal of Science in 1998, as well as this year's Genetics Prize from the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation. At the University of Chicago, Rowley is the head of a laboratory that researches the genetic underpinnings of cancer, particularly leukemia.

President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, to Rowley on August 12.


Exact Sciences announced this week the appointment of Graham Lidgard as the company’s chief scientific officer.

Previously Lidgard was head of research and development at Gen-Probe, as well as co-founder and vice president of product development of Matritech.

The Scan

Just Breathing

A new analysis suggests that most Mycobacterium tuberculosis is spread by aerosols from breathing, rather than by coughing, the New York Times reports.

Just Like This One

NPR reports that the World Health Organization has hired a South African biotech company to recreate mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 that is similar to the one developed by Moderna.

Slow Start

The Wall Street Journal reports that Biogen's Alzheimer's disease treatment had revenues for July through September that totaled $300,000.

Genome Research Papers on Cancer Chromatin, Splicing in the Thymus, Circular RNAs in Cancer

In Genome Research this week: analysis of bivalent chromatin sites, RBFOX splicing factors' role in thymic epithelial cells, and more.