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Dr. Janet A. Houghton

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Dr.  Janet A. Houghton Obituary
Dr. Janet A. Houghton

Cleveland, OH

Dr. Janet A. Houghton passed away at age 65 on October 5, 2017, after a courageous battle with appendiceal cancer. Dr. Houghton devoted her own life's work to cancer research, making a name for herself as a leading cancer biologist who was world-renowned for her efforts towards the development of new and innovative treatment therapies to help others fighting the disease that eventually took her life. Dr. Houghton's highly distinguished career began in the United Kingdom where she obtained a Ph.D. from the University of London in 1977 at the age of 25. Later that year she came to the United States, where she developed an independent career spanning 29 years at in Memphis, Tennessee. In 2006 she moved to the Cleveland Clinic as the Chair of the Department of Cancer Biology at the Lerner Research Institute and the Betsy B. DeWindt Endowed Chair for Cancer Research, where she focused on adult colorectal cancer. Her last professional appointment was the Distinguished Fellow and Emil Hess Endowed Chair of Cancer Biology in the Division of Drug Discovery at Southern Research Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. Her research and collaboration with other cancer biologists at St. Jude's resulted in the development of one of the leading forms of colorectal cancer treatment still used by thousands of patients each year. Her work has also been the focus of over 145 scientific peer-reviewed publications and ten book chapters, She served on several National Institutes of Health Study Sections for her expertise in her field, and she hailed as Senior Editor for the international journal Cancer Research for over 12 years. Dr. Houghton grew up in the small tranquil village of South Witham in rural Lincolnshire England among haystacks and herds of sheep, near Nottingham, of Robin Hood fame and Sir Isaac Newton's cottage. Her older brother, Robert, a roof-thatcher and bass-guitarist, introduced her to the music of legendary blues artists like Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters which started her life-long passion for rock and blues. She was a classically trained pianist but loved to play rock and played key board and sang in several classic-rock bands. She and her husband traveled the country and the UK fulfilling their passion for rock and blues from the British Invasion bands of the 1960's to today. And they loved the Cleveland music scene. Dr. Houghton also embraced the bold fashion of rock and loved rocking her wardrobe when going out for a night of music with her husband. April 30, 1993 was one of the proudest days of Dr. Houghton's life. That was the day she became a United States Citizen.

Dr. Houghton is survived by her husband, Bob Klaus; her daughters, Nicole Houghton and Emma Arledge-Houghton (Rachel); her stepdaughter, Stefanie Klaus; her stepson, Jared Klaus (Melinda Marksz) and her brother, Robert Geeson (Elizabeth). The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to in Memphis, Tennessee or The Emil Hess Endowed Chair at Southern Research Institute in Birmingham, Alabama to help carry on the life-saving research that is Dr. Janet Houghton's enduring legacy. Or The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Funeral services will be held 10 a.m., Friday, October 13, at Johnson-Romito Funeral Home, 99 W. Aurora Road, (Rt. 82, one mile West of Rt. 8), Northfield Center, OH (330-468-1443) where friends will be received from 9:30 a.m. until service time. Interment will follow in Markillie Cemetery, Hudson, OH. Friends are then welcome at the family residence, 7415 Valerie Lane, Hudson, OH 44236 from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m., Friday.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on Oct. 11, 2017
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