Two physicians among Medal of Freedom recipients

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 10, 2009

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Florida physician Pedro Jose Greer Jr., MD, and Illinois geneticist Janet Davison Rowley, MD, were named by President Obama on July 30 as recipients of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom. They were among 16 recipients honored for making an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the U.S., world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Dr. Greer is assistant dean of academic affairs at Florida International University School of Medicine, where he also is chair of the Dept. of Humanities, Health and Society. He is founder of Camillus Health Concern, an agency that provides medical care to more than 10,000 homeless patients a year in Miami. He is founder and medical director of the St. John Bosco Clinic, which provides basic primary medical care to disadvantaged children and adults in the Little Havana community.

Dr. Rowley is the Blum Riese Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago. She was the first scientist to identify a chromosomal translocation as the cause of leukemia and other cancers, according to the White House. She is internationally renowned for her studies of chromosome abnormalities in leukemia and lymphoma, which have led to dramatically improved survival rates for previously incurable cancers and the development of targeted therapies. In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded her the National Medal of Science -- the nation's highest scientific honor.

The Medal of Freedom awards were scheduled to be handed out by the president at an Aug. 12 ceremony.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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