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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: 


Eric Johannsen, M.D., Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Oncology, was interviewed for an episode of Blue Sky Science, which pairs local students’ questions with UW experts and is a collaboration between the Wisconsin State Journal and the Morgridge Institute for research. Dr. Johannsen, who studies how Epstein-Barr virus causes cancer, was asked whether viruses could be used to treat cancer. The full story can be found here.

Dr. Paul G. Ahlquist, a virologist and faculty member in McArdle for the past 26 years, has received the prestigious Steenbock Professorship in Microbiological Sciences. This professorship, endowed by Evelyn Steenbock, wife of the noted UW Biochemist, Professor Harry Steenbock, provides support to Dr. Ahlquist's laboratory for a period of ten years.

Dr. Lambert, Director of McArdle, described Dr. Ahlquist as "one of our campus' crown jewels. His dedication to his science, his students and the institution are reflected in everything he does. He is a most deserving recipient of this professorship."

Dr. Ahlquist brings international acclaim to the campus as a National Academy of Sciences member and a Howard Hughes Institute of Investigation investigator. His lab has made seminal discoveries on how viruses replicate within cells, creating replication factories hidden away in cellular membranes, thus evading the cells' innate immune defenses.

Director Lambert also remarked, "Dr. Ahlquist is a critical part of the tumor virus research effort here in McArdle and the success of the Carbone Cancer Center." In addition to his ties to McArdle as Professor of Oncology, Dr. Ahlquist is a long time member in the Institute of Molecular Virology, Professor of Plant Pathology, and most recently became one of the four lead scientists in the Morgridge Institute for Research.

Congratulations Dr. Ahlquist.

Read the full story here.

Elaine Alarid, Ph.D., Professor of Oncology, is among 20 professors named to Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professorships.

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Wei Xu, Ph.D., Professor of Oncology, is among 12 professors to receive a Romnes Faculty Fellowship.

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Nathan Sherer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular Virology and Oncology, and researchers Ginger Pocock and Jordan Becker in collaboration with Paul Ahlquist, Ph.D., Paul J. Kaesberg Professor of Molecular Virology, Oncology and Plant Pathology have leveraged some helpful technology to make HIV and its components fluoresce, revealing what their new study calls "striking, unexpected features" of retroviral activity that could lead to antiviral strategies for HIV and beyond.

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Paul Ahlquist, Ph.D., Paul J. Kaesberg Professor of Molecular Virology, Oncology and Plant Pathology; Lead Scientist for Virology, Morgridge Institute for Research; Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, was named recipient of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's prestigious Hilldale Award.

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The Understanding, Prevention and Control of Human Cancer; The Historic Work and Lives of Elizabeth Cavert Miller and James A Miller, by Robert G. McKinnell, University of Minnesota, is an account of how a married couple opened understanding of environmental carcinogenesis.

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Research that began at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research and the UW Carbone Cancer Center decades ago has led to a promising clinical trial for women in parts of the developing world, and could lead to more treatment options for cervical cancer all over the world.

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Rob Kalejta, Ph.D., McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, Emily Albright, graduate student, UW-Madison, and former postdoctoral researcher, Song Hee Lee, have recently shown that individual cells in the human body have an armament designed to prevent HCMV from achieving and maintaining this latency, to shine a spotlight on the virus so the immune system knows to fight. But the virus, in turn, has developed ways to thwart these defenses.

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