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Dr Jane Wright #BHMwithBWiS


Jane Cooke Wright


November 1919 - February 2013




Wright's parents, Louis and Corrine, were both academic. Corrine was a public school teacher and Louis was a physician and activist against the racial injustices in the medical field. In 1947, Jane Wright married David D. Jones Jr who later had two daughters.


1942 Degree in Art, Smith College

1945 Degree in Medicine (with honours), New York Medical College

Scientific career

After completing medical school, Wright went to join her father at the center he founded, the Harlem Hospital Cancer Research Center. Wright worked with her father, gaining a particular interest in chemotherapeutic agents and worked to make chemotherapy a more accessible treatment for cancer (at this time chemotherapy was the 'last resort' treatment).

Wright was the first to report the usefulness of methotrexate against cancerous tumours in breast and skin cancer. She is also responsible for the methods used modern-day cancer treatment: namely, the common sequential/dosage variation used to increase chemotherapy and minimise side effects.

Later in her career she was appointed to the New York University Bellevue Medical Center as Director of Cancer Research and Associate Professor of Surgical Research. Dr Wright is now known as the cancer researcher and surgeon who contributed massively to the development of techniques that allow the use of human tissue to test potential drugs on cancer cells.


It is known that Wright received a large number of awards/recognitions during her lifetime, here are a few:

1965 Spirit of Achievement Award from Albert Einstein College of Medicine

1975 American Association for Cancer Research Award

1981 Othelia Cromwell Award from Smith College

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