Elaine S. Jaffe

Elaine Sarkin Jaffe


Born: Brooklyn, New York

Academic Degrees

  • AB Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, 1965
  • MD University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1969

Academic Positions

  • 1974 Senior Investigator then Chief (1980) Hematopathology Section, Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 1982 - 2005 Deputy Chief, Laboratory of Pathology, NCI, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland
  • 2005 Acting Chief, Laboratory of Pathology, NCI, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland


  • Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C.
  • Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

Selected Career Highlights

  • One of the world's greatest hematopathologists

  • One of her earliest papers on "Nodular Lymphoma" (1974), a Citation Classic published in the New England Journal of Medicine presented evidence for the origin of this tumor from follicular B cells. Her studies of in-situ follicular lymphoma (Blood, 2002) shed insight into the mechanism of the BCL2/JH translocation, and the earliest events in follicular lymphoma.

  • Her early studies (1991-1993) showed a close relationship among B-cell lymphomas and Hodgkin's disease and paved the way for the discovery of the origin of the Reed-Sternberg Cell.

  • She has emphasized that accurate disease discovery and definition are the first critical steps in identifying the pathogenesis of malignant lymphomas, and probably most neoplastic diseases. As Chief of the Hematopathology Section at the NIH, her clinical and investigational studies are intertwined to alter and enhance our understanding of the malignant lymphomas. Her work stresses the clinical implication of diagnoses, emphasizing the role as pathologists as clinical consultants.

  • Author of over 550 scientific publications and 40 book chapters.

  • Science Watch named her among the 10 most highly cited researchers in clinical oncology in 1981 and again in 1998, and the only woman to appear on this prestigious list.

  • President of the Society for Hematopathology (1994-1996). Member of the Advisory Board of the American Society of Hematology.

  • Elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1993), and elected Chair of the Medical Sciences Section of the AAAS (2004-2005).

  • Senior Editor for the 2001 WHO Classifications of tumors: Pathology and Genetics of the Hematopoetic and Lymphoid Tissues. This landmark publication established international consensus for the first time for the classification of leukemias and lymphomas, and has been widely accepted and adopted internationally as the standard.

  • Member, Editorial Boards of 18 Journals, including:

    • Acta Pathologica Microbiologica Et Immunologica Scandinavica
    • American Journal of Clinical Pathology
    • American Journal of Pathology
    • American Journal of Surgical Pathology (Section Editor, Hematopathology)
    • Annals of Diagnostic Pathology
    • Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
    • Blood
    • Clinical Lymphomas
    • Hematopathology and Molecular Pathology
    • Human Pathology
    • Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry
    • Laboratory Investigation
    • Leukemia
    • Modern Pathology and others
  • Member of many Advisory Committees and Boards, and recipient of many honors, awards, and other special scientific recognitions.

  • Recipient of the Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award (2006) from the Fellow's Committee, National Institutes of Health "For outstanding contributions to the teaching of clinical fellows, and the advancement of clinical research". Also recipient of the NCI's Outstanding Mentor Award (2001).

  • Recipient of the Lennert Prize of the European Association for Haematopathology (2006). She was the first non-European to receive this award, and the only woman to date: "In recognition of your merits in developing a unique Lymphoma Classification, erasing the differences between both Atlantic sides, and your enormous and successful effort to integrate basic research and clinical diagnosis in the quotidian life of Haematopathology".

  • Named the Second Annual Anita B. Roberts Lecturer recognizing Distinguished Woman Scientists at the NIH (2007).

  • Co-Director of the USCAP Long Course entitled "Lymphoma and Leukemia: Integration of Morphology and Biologic Markers" (1998 with Dr. Cheryl Wilman). A great many presentations/lectures/panels at the USCAP from 1979 to the present time.

  • Chair, USCAP ad hoc Membership Committee (1999-2001), introduced the highly successful Ambassador's Program to recruit new Junior Members into the USCAP.

  • Hobbies include mountain-climbing and skiing with husband, Michael Evan Jaffe, in Colorado. Has two remarkable sons: Greg (Chief Pentagon Correspondent for the Wall Street Journal (and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize) and Cale (environmental attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center. Relishes being with her four grandchildren.


view more