#HealthHistory Celebrating revolutionary individuals who made historical advancements in medicine

Dr. Jane C. Wright

Dr. Jane C. Wright made historical medical advancements in cancer research and treatment and is noted for contributions to chemotherapy.

During Dr. Wright’s time, chemotherapy was mostly experimental. She was one of the first to test many cancer chemotherapy treatments. Dr. Wright screened hundreds of drugs for their potential to kill human tumors and studied how these drugs could be tested in cell culture. Dr. Wright also developed a technique of using human tissue culture rather than lab mice to test effects of potential drugs on cancer cells.  Prior to these treatments by Jane, many blood cancers were seen as incurable.

Dr. Wright also developed new techniques for administering cancer chemotherapy.

Dr. Wrights work revolutionized cancer research and how cancer is treated. She not only greatly advanced medicine but also worked tirelessly in patient care. She supported standardized medical care across the United States and internationally, served in multiple medical societies and patient advocacy groups, worked to regulate medical care, and improve patient outcomes.


Ellen Elliott, Ph.D. “Women in Science: Jane C. Wright Revolutionized Cancer Research (1919-2013).” The Jackson Laboratory, www.jax.org/news-and-insights/jax-blog/2016/november/women-in-science-jane-wright.

College, New York Medical. “Jane Cooke Wright, M.D. ’45 (1919-2013).” New York Medical College, www.nymc.edu/faculty/directory/in-memoriam/jane-cooke-wright/.

“Changing the Face of Medicine | Jane Cooke Wright.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 3 June 2015, cfmedicine.nlm.nih.gov/physicians/biography_336.html/.