Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Ruth Sager - the geneticist with two careers

Ruth Sager: (February 7, 1918 – March 29, 1997)

For her first career she pioneered the field of cytoplasmic genetics -- the transmission of genes occurring outside the nucleus. She went against the prevalent scientific thinking of the era in her research, and followed her hunch that there was a second genetic system. She was right. And because of her dedication to her research, she created a whole new area of scientific research.

Her second career started in the early 1970s. when she began researching the role genetics plays in cancer, and in breast cancer in particular. She developed a system to culture normal and cancer cells so they could be studied and compared. And she was responsible for creating the first cell lines for cancer research. Her research laid the foundation for modern scientific developments in the treatment of breast cancer. She identified several genes related to breast cancer and, more importantly, she identified certain genes that seemed to suppress the growth and spread of breast cancer cells.

Read more about her life and work.

Read a moving memorial for her. [pdf]

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