2007 Distinguished Alumni Award: Carolyn Runowicz

Carolyn Runowicz, M.D. is a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northeast Utilities Foundation Chair in Experimental Oncology, and Director Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

Dr. Runowicz is a national expert in gynecologic cancers and women’s health. Prior to her appointment at the Health Center, she served as professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and vice-chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, both in New York City. Dr. Runowicz is involved in many national health organizations, including the American Cancer Society, where she serves as president of the society’s National Board of Directors. She has testified at Senate hearings advocating cancer screening as a representative of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and as a speaker on the President’s Cancer Panel, “Meeting the Challenges of Older Adult Cancer Survivors.”

Among her many research interests, Dr. Runowicz has largely focused on ovarian, cervical, and breast cancers. She has contributed more than 100 papers to medical literature, including scientific abstracts and textbook chapters. She is widely published in scholarly journals, including the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Journal of Clinical Oncology and Cancer.

As an outspoken advocate for women’s health, Dr. Runowicz lectures extensively on issues such as gynecologic cancers, menopause management and breast cancer. She has very candidly shared insights of her own battle with breast cancer, both in speaking appearances and in her book To Be Alive: A Women’s Guide to a Full Life After Cancer, published in 1995. Co-authored by Dr. Runowicz and her husband Sheldon Cherry, M.D., a New York City gynecologist, The Menopause Book: A Guide to Women’s Health After 40 was published in 1994. She also co-authored with Jeanne Petrek, M.D., director of the Surgical Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Women and Cancer: A Thorough and Compassionate Resource for Patients and Their Families published in 1999. Dr. Runowicz is currently writing her fourth book The Answer to Cancer.

Dr. Runowicz graduated summa cum laude as an Honors Scholar from the University of Connecticut. She will be honored as the first recipient of the Honors Program Distinguished Alumni Award at a brunch on Saturday, April 28, 2007 and will speak to graduating Honors students and their families at the Honors Program Medals Ceremony.