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
Key Medical Attributions
- Therman E. Chromosomal evolution of the genus Polygonatum Societas Zoologica Botanica Fennica. 1953
- Patau K, Smith DW, Therman E, Inhorn SL, Wagner HP. Multiple congenital anomaly caused by an extra autosome. Lancet. 1960; 1(7128): 790‐793.
- Smith DW, Patau K, Therman E, Inhorn SL. A new autosomal trisomy syndrome: multiple congenital anomalies caused by an extra chromosome. J Pediatr. 1960; 57(3): 338‐345.
- Therman E, Pätau K. Abnormal X chromosomes in man: Origin, behavior and effects. Hum Genet, 1974; 25: 1–16
- Therman E. Human Chromosomes: Structure, Behavior, Effects. 1980. [2e 1896; 3e 1993; 4e 2000]
- 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
- Portrait: Eeva Therman (1916-2004), Department of Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Portin P. Professori Eeva Therman-Patau in memoriam. Luonnon Tutkija. 2004; 108:
- Crow JF, Laxova R, Sussman M. Memorial Resolution of the Faculty of the University of Wisconsin–Madison on the Death of Professor Emerita Eeva Therman Patau. Faculty Document 1845 – University of Wisconsin-Madison
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