Jan Davis Marshall
South High School
Jan Davis Marshall (1966) is a medical researcher at The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine where she serves as director of Alström Syndrome Studies. At South, she was a member of the school orchestra, the National Honor Society, and the student newspaper staff.
After high school, Jan attended Hartwick College and upon graduation in 1970, joined the research staff at Jackson where she has been ever since. Her early work was focused on finding the genetic basis of heart disease and how genetics interact with diet. Jan’s laboratory later began dedicated research on Alström Syndrome, a very rare and fatal genetic disorder that affects children around the world. What began as scientific research aimed at tracking down the gene causing this rare medical condition, evolved into a lifelong quest for Jan to help the affected children, their parents and families.
In 1995, Jan co-founded Alström Syndrome International and began the extraordinary task of providing and maintaining programs in the areas of research, education, and family support. In 2002, after 15 years of diligent research work, Jan’s team identified the gene responsible for transmitting this condition from parent to child. In 2003, Jan was awarded the Galileo Galilei Medal of Excellence for Contributions to Science by the University of Padua in Italy where she also gave the keynote address at the Alström Syndrome Medical and Scientific Congress.
While Alström’s is always fatal, Jan’s research has lead to a much greater understanding of the disease, significant advances in medical knowledge, and exponential growth in medical support for patients. Jan brings passion to her science, driven by the love and affection she feels for the children affected by Alström’s. She has vowed not to give up until a cure or treatment is found.