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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Gladys Glenn, Physician-Researcher, Retires

""In January, Gladys M. Glenn, M.D., Ph.D., retired from NCI after 30 years of government service. Dr. Glenn received her M.D. in 1976 and a Ph.D. in molecular biology in 1979 from the University of Pennsylvania Schools of Medicine and Graduate School, respectively, in Philadelphia. She completed her internship and internal medicine residency in 1982, becoming board certified in internal medicine. After oncology fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Glenn joined NCI’s Laboratory of Immunobiology in 1984. While there, she began molecular biology investigations with her colleagues that led to identification of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease gene, the first of several hereditary kidney cancer susceptibility genes identified later by this group of multidisciplinary associates.

Dr. Glenn became credentialed at the NIH Clinical Center, and over the next decades she combined research work with clinical responsibilities, all focused on hereditary kidney cancer. During her subsequent service in the NCI Cancer Diagnosis Branch, Dr. Glenn received the Public Health Service Special Achievement Award for her work in clinical investigative screening.

In 1996, Dr. Glenn joined DCEG’s Genetic Epidemiology Branch, where she continued as physician and clinical genetic investigator in the screening clinic. In early 2010, Dr. Glenn joined the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB). As a staff clinician, she participated in and contributed to CGB's ongoing studies of familial testicular cancer and inherited bone marrow failure syndromes, and the new study of DICER1-related familial pleuropulmonary blastoma.

Stephen Chanock, M.D., Division Director, commented, “Dr. Glenn’s combination of formal training in internal medicine, medical oncology, and molecular biology positioned her to be one of the early major players in the clinical genetics revolution. We are deeply indebted to her for her service, both to the NIH/NCI scientific enterprise and her dedication to the countless men and women afflicted by hereditary kidney cancer. Their lives have benefited beyond measure from her life’s work.”