In Memoriam — Roswell K. Boutwell (1917-2017)

The McArdle Laboratory mourns the loss of Dr. Roswell “Roz” Boutwell, Professor Emeritus of Oncology. Dr. Boutwell passed away on Friday, August 25th, 2017, at the Attic Angel Community in Middleton, WI. He was 99 years old at his time of passing, and was preceded in death by his wife, Luella Mae (“Lou”), just two years ago in 2015. Roz and Lou were married for 72 years and raised three sons. All three still reside in Wisconsin.

Roz was born in Madison in 1917, and studied Chemistry at Beloit College in Beloit, WI, prior to obtaining both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a founding member of the McArdle Laboratory’s Department of Oncology faculty, and studied how cell metabolism contributes to cancerous tumor growth. A seminal contribution was his discovery of links between caloric intake and cancer, work that has fueled decades of progress in understanding how diet and lifestyle choices affect cancer and may be altered for cancer prevention. Roz also studied links between radiation and cancer, serving as Chief of Research at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Hiroshima, Japan, in the 1980s.

In addition to 45 years of teaching and research at UW-Madison, Dr. Boutwell played prominent leadership roles in national organizations including the American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, National Research Council, and National Academy of Sciences. He also served as Associate Editor of the journal Cancer Research (1973-81) and was a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration.

Paul Lambert writes, “Roz was an exceptional cancer biologist and mentor who contributed much to our knowledge of how cancer arises. His presence in McArdle through the years was an inspiration to many of us.”

After retiring, Dr. Boutwell invested in time with his family and friends and was particularly proud of his work developing a family farm.

Donations in Dr. Boutwell’s name may be made to the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, WIMR, 1111 Highland Ave., Madison, WI 53705. The Roswell K. Boutwell Fellowship Fund has been established in his honor to support the training of future cancer researchers.

Below is a link to his obituary: