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Charlotte Friend

Cell biologist and immunologist Charlotte Friend furthered our understanding of cancer through her discovery of a virus that could transmit leukemia. Friend graduated Hunter College in 1943 and served as a naval officer in a hematology lab before earning her PhD in immunology from Yale in 1950. She worked for the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research from 1950–1966, when she became director of the Center for Experimental Cell Biology at Mount Sinai Medical School. While at Sloan-Kettering she isolated a virus that could transmit leukemia in mice, the Friend leukemia virus, which was used as a model for virally transmitted cancers. She later showed that these cancers could be manipulated to shut down their unlimited growth potential, which offered new avenues for research into controlling the proliferation of cancer cells. She served as president of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the Harvey Society, which sponsors biomedical lectures at Rockefeller University. In 1975 she helped create the Israeli Cancer Research Fund, which helped encourage Israeli scientists to focus on cancer research.

Topics: Medicine

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Date of Birth

New York, NY
United States

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Charlotte Friend." (Viewed on June 25, 2019) <>.


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