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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 09/26/04
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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Elwood V. Jensen, PhD

Dr. Jensen came to UC in March 2002 from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, where he was the Nobel Visiting Professor.

He grew up in Springfield, Ohio, where he graduated from Wittenberg College, and received his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Chicago.

In 1946, he spent a year as a Guggenheim Fellow at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zčrich, where he first took an interest in the study of steroid hormones. It was during this period that he climbed the Matterhorn, a 14,691-foot peak in the Alps, a feat that has become a metaphor in his personal and professional life for his determined opposition toward the seemingly impossible.

In 1947, Dr. Jensen joined the medical faculty at the University of Chicago, where he carried out his breakthrough research. In 1951 he became one of the original members of the famed Ben May Laboratory for Cancer Research, and was appointed director of the lab in 1969. 

On leave of absence in 1983 through 1988, Dr. Jensen served for five years as worldwide research director for the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, based in Zčrich, and one year as a Fogarty Scholar at the National Institutes of Health.

After retirement from Chicago in 1990, he was scholar-in-residence at Cornell Medical College, Alexander von Humboldt visiting professor at the University of Hamburg, and Nobel Visiting Professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Dr. Jensen is now a distinguished university professor in the Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy at the UC Medical Center's Vontz Center for Molecular Studies. He is collaborating with his colleague and friend Sohaib Khan, PhD, professor of cell biology in the Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, to elaborate the mechanism of estrogen actions. 

Besides being a member of the National Academy of Sciences (1974), the pinnacle of a career in science in the United States, Dr.  Jensen holds four honorary degrees. His 25 scientific prizes include the 2002 Brinker International Award from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, which he received while on the faculty of UC.

He also holds the George J. and Elizabeth Wile Chair in Cancer Research.

Last December, more than 300 top cancer researchers and hormone scientists came to Cincinnati to the Jensen Symposium on Nuclear Receptors and Endocrine Disorders. The meeting, sponsored by UC Medical Center in Dr. Jensen's honor, was one of the largest ever gatherings of the world's leading scientists in the field to discuss how hormones influence heart disease and cancers of the breast, prostate and thyroid.

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