Charles Alderson Janeway

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Dr. Charles Alderson Janeway (1909 in New York City – 1981 in Weston, Massachusetts) was an eminent American pediatrician, medical professor, and clinical researcher.

Janeway was physician in chief from 1946 to 1976 at Children's Hospital Boston. He also was Thomas Morgan Rotch Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. As a clinical researcher, he discovered the first immunodeficiency disease.[1]

According to a 2007 biography by physicians Robert J. Haggerty and Frederick H. Lovejoy, Jr.:

"Janeway built the first department of pediatrics in the nation with subspecialties based upon the new developments in basic sciences. Janeway and his colleagues defined the gamma globulin disorders that resulted in children's increased susceptibility to infections and associated arthritic disorders. Janeway was the most visible U.S. pediatrician on the world scene in the last half of the 20th century. He traveled widely, taught modern pediatrics to thousands of physicians throughout the developing world, and brought many of them to the U.S. for further training. He was instrumental in starting teaching hospitals in Shiraz, Iran, and Cameroon."[1]

In 1964, Janeway worked with the provincial government in St John's, Newfoundland, Canada to establish a children's hospital. In recognition of his efforts and dedication, the hospital was named the Dr. Charles Alderson Janeway Child Health Centre. Its first location was in the former base hospital on Pepperrell Air Force Base which had closed several years earlier.

Janeway came from a family of prominent physicians. His father, Theodore Caldwell Janeway, was the first full-time professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the identifier of Janeway lesions. He also discovered a means to measure blood pressure. His grandfather, Edward Gamaliel Janeway, was the New York City Health Commissioner and dean of the combined New York University/Bellevue Hospital medical colleges.[1]

Janeway graduated from Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale University in 1930, where he was a member of Skull and Bones.[2] He also graduated from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He married Elizabeth Bradley, a social worker, in 1932. They had four children: Anne, Elizabeth, Charles, and Barbara.

His medical legacy continued to subsequent generations. His son, Charles Janeway (1943–2003), was an immunologist, noted Yale University medical professor, and member of the National Academy of Sciences, who made significant contributions to the field of innate immune response. His daughter Barbara is a nurse-practitioner in New Hampshire. Two granddaughters, Elizabeth Gold of Toronto and Katherine A. Janeway of Boston, are also pediatricians, representing the sixth generation of Janeway doctors.[1]

Charles A. Janeway died at his home in Weston, Massachusetts, in 1981.


  1. ^ a b c d Haggerty, RJ, and Lovejoy, Jr., FH.(2007) Charles A. Janeway: Pediatrician to the World Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. (ISBN 978-0674023802)
  2. ^ "YALE TAP DAY HELD; 10 REFUSE ELECTION". New York Times. 16 May 1930.