Eeva Therman

Eeva Therman-Patau (1916 – 2004) was a Finnish-American cytogeneticist.

Major figure in the field of human cytogenetics publishing extensively on cancer cytogenetics, X-chromosome anomalies and sex development. Pioneer in the study of cancer genetics and helped to characterize abnormalities indicative of malignancy.

Therman’s fascination with the X chromosome produced so many publications that she became known among her colleagues as “Mrs. X Chromosome.”

  • Born 4 Aug 1916
  • 1939 – MS degree in genetics from the University of Helsinki
  • 1947 – PhD, University of Helsinki, focusing on chromosome research in plants. First woman in Finland to defend her PhD in genetics.
  • 1958 – Emigrated to the United States
  • 1959 – Research assistant at the Prof Patau’s laboratory at the Departments of Pathology and Medical Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 1961 – Married German-American cytogeneticist Klaus Pätau (1908 – 1975)
  • 2002 – Returned to Finland
  • Died 12 Jun 2004, Helsinki

Major Publications


Therman was unable to become a member of faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison until Klaus Patau died in 1975 as a result of archaic nepotism rules


eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

British doctor currently working in Perth, Australia.  Interests include psychiatry and paediatrics

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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