top of page


Reflecting on National Women's History Month

As we near the end of March and National Women's History Month ends, we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the countless contributions made by women in cancer research. Despite facing systemic barriers and discrimination, these women, among numerous others, have been instrumental in advancing our understanding of cancer and developing new treatments for the disease. In this blog, we'll highlight just a few of the many female scientists who have significantly impacted the world of cancer research.

Dr Janet Rowley:

Described by Nature Journal as the 'matriarch of modern cancer genetics', Dr Janet Rowley was a pioneering geneticist who discovered the genetic basis of many cancers, including Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) and Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Her work was instrumental in establishing the field of cancer cytogenetics and laid the foundation for developing targeted cancer therapies. Dr Rowley was the first woman to receive the National Medal of Science in biological sciences in 1998. We also wanted to champion Dr Rowley’s support system. According to the same article in Nature Journal, one of Rowley’s most prominent supporters was her mother, a high-school teacher and librarian who encouraged her scientific pursuits.

Dr Susan Love:

Dr Susan Love is a prominent breast cancer researcher who has advocated for women's health for over 30 years. Credited with founding the first all-women breast centre in Boston, she also invented an intraductal catheter alongside a “model for multidisciplinary breast care at the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center.” Having battled Leukemia, the Dr Susan Love Research Foundation conducts research on breast cancer and advocates for more patient-centered approaches to treatment. Dr Love’s selfless devotion to pursuing breast cancer prevention makes her an unmissable feature in this blog. Her work has helped change how we think about breast cancer and has led to more personalised and effective treatments, and you can find out more about her contributions on the Dr Susan Love Foundation website.

Dr Mary-Claire King: