Bertha A. Bouroncle, M.D.
Dr. Bertha Bouroncle was ahead of her time. Internationally revered for her legacy in cancer research and treatment, she played the lead role at OSU in identifying “hairy cell leukemia,” then assisted in development of an effective therapy that transformed the once fatal condition into one of the most treatable cancers. In the words of OSU, “many people believe that this achievement is one of the most important scientific discoveries in the history of the University.”
Born in Lima, Peru, Bertha came to Ohio for a clinical fellowship, then remained as a resident in internal medicine and hematology. She became the University’s first female chief resident in 1953, an associate professor in 1957 and full professor in 1970—a position she held until being named professor emerita in 1989.
In addition to receiving awards and honors from the Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine and OSU, the Bertha Bouroncle Distinguished Lecture Award was established in 2001. With her husband Andrew, Bertha left a lasting gift to others through creation of the Bertha Bouroncle, MD, and Andrew Pereny Chair of Medicine to fund cancer research at OSU.