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  • Jean Canellos

    Jean Canellos became a charter member of the Friends of Dana-Farber in its formative years when her husband, Dr. George Canellos, returned from the National Cancer Institute in Washington, D.C., to become chief of medical oncology at Dana-Farber. Her insight and her ability to define the salient points of any issue are invaluable tools in promoting the mission of the Friends. She was deeply gratified in more recent years to have been elected an honorary director by her fellow Board members.

    Prior to becoming executive vice president with Founding President Sheila Cunningham, Jean was a member of the earliest Friends' By-Laws Committee which further defined the Friends' purpose to support research, therapy, training, education, and patient service programs through volunteer activities. The earliest monies raised funded the first annual Friends' Fellow in Medical Oncology which subsequently led to a permanent endowment for this program.

    During Jean's term as president, the first major donation of $100,000 was given to the Friends, encouraging a pattern of considering the Friends as a conduit of large gifts to Dana-Farber.

    Jean recalls several emotional periods in her life during these years, including working with wonderful people to establish a chapel providing solace for patients and families. Jean appreciated the special care and kindness of the staff when her mother was a patient, and it was heartwarming to learn that one of her mother's platelet donors was the husband of another Friends' Board member.

    She received a B.A. in Zoology from Wellesley College, an M.A.T. in Biology and retraining for College Administration from Harvard Graduate School of Education. After teaching secondary school science and math, she worked on the admissions staff of Wellesley College for 21 years. Jean was a trustee and corporator at Dana Hall School as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Northeast Region of the National Conference of Community and Justice, where she also served as a national trustee.

    Jean has been married over 40 years to Dr. George Canellos, who, after 20 years as chief of medical oncology, is currently William Rosenberg professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, and senior physician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital. They have three sons: Peter, Washington bureau chief at The Boston Globe; George, partner in a New York law firm; and Andrew, a Web marketing manager.