read with great interest your article on the unexpected consequences
of Dr. Janet Rowley's 1972 cytogenetic work-and the editor's note
on Rowley's messy office (October/01).
editor reports being startled at the lack of ceremony accorded
some of the visible evidence of Dr. Rowley's highest honors, such
as her 1998 Lasker award and 1999 National Medal of Science, but
I don't find this surprising.
met Dr. Rowley several times during my medical education at Chicago,
and she delivered the graduation address at the Biological Sciences
Division ceremony when I finished Pritzker in 1996. I was always
impressed by her humility and down-to-earth style-traits also
exemplified by one of her Chicago mentors, Dr. Charles B. Huggins
(1901-97). It is rare for someone who has accomplished as much
in a career as Dr. Rowley has to have such a strong commitment
to family and such a balanced view of life. I will always keep
in mind Dr. Rowley's sage advice to "take the long view"
when considering career decisions and not to become frustrated
and discouraged if one's research career hasn't resulted in Nobel-quality
work by age 35. Patience is crucial.
wonder, however, at the caption for the photograph on page 9:
"Chromosome banding, as shown on this blot, helped Rowley
discover transposed genes." Rather than conventional chromosome
banding, this film looks more like a Southern (DNA) or Northern
(RNA) blot, or perhaps a Western (protein) blot. Am I mistaken,
or was this simply a convenient piece of film to hold up for the
P. Steensma, MD'96
is not mistaken. Rowley was examining an X-ray film-known as a
Southern blot-used to detect changes in the size of DNA fragments
which occur as the result of translocations in leukemia cells.-Ed.