Eeva Therman

Eeva Therman-Patau (1916 - 2004)

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 on August 4, 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 on June 12, 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


BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  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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