Donald Rowley, MD, a pioneer in discovering how the immune system functions and the inventor of the gel electrode, a crucial tool that monitors cardiac activity, died at his home early Sunday, Feb. 24, after a long battle with congestive heart failure. He was 90 years old.
Rowley, professor emeritus in the Department of Pathology and the Committee on Immunology at the University of Chicago, was a wide-ranging and imaginative researcher. He made a series of fundamental discoveries that had a significant impact on the basic understanding of the immune system as well as on many clinical specialties, including cancer immunology, organ transplantation, and cardiovascular disease. John Easton has an obituary of Rowley in our Newsroom:
“Don Rowley was someone who did productive original research in many fields,” said immunologist Hans Schreiber, MD, PhD, professor of pathology at the University of Chicago and a former student of Rowley’s. “He had the capacity to dig into many different areas, ask the important questions, design elegant experiments to answer them and then shift his attention to new problems. Don was always looking for the next important question. He was admired by people I admire.”
His wife Janet Rowley, MD, is also a pioneering cancer geneticist at the University of Chicago. A memorial service is being planned for the spring. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to the Donald and Janet Rowley Scholarship Fund, which aids undergraduates at the University of Chicago.