Dr. Maryann Donovan

Dr. Maryann Donovan (In memoriam) was the Director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (CEO-UPCI) and the Associate Director for Research Services at UPCI. The CEO-UPCI was established in 2004 as the first cancer institute-academic medical center-based interdisciplinary program focused on communicating the evidence linking environmental exposures to adverse health outcomes. The Center provides information and lectures for the public on environmental exposures that increase cancer risk with an emphasis on strategies to reduce risk. Staff also participate in regional and national initiatives to educate legislators and inform public policy.

Dr. Donovan, a cellular and molecular biologist with additional training in environmental science, spent more than 30 years in academia. In her early research she published the first studies demonstrating that a biological control agent, still used commercially to control insect pests, was not toxic for non-target species. Subsequently, as a human molecular geneticist, she studied the molecular regulation of hemoglobin switching, coagulation disorders, and breast tumor metastasis. She also co-directed the first cancer molecular diagnostic lab at the University of Pittsburgh/University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, developing, and validating assays to improve cancer diagnosis.

In recognition of her contributions to cancer research, Dr. Donovan received the 2017 Merrill J. Egorin Excellence in Scientific Leadership Award and will have an annual lectureship established in her name at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. In addition to her many academic and professional achievements, Maryann was also an accomplished nature photographer, traveler, and avid gourmet.