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Sanctae Crucis Award Recipients 2004

William F. Crowley Jr., M.D., '65

Scientist. Healer. Mentor.

Three noble vocations simultaneously embraced by Bill Crowley, with conviction, passion and a spectacular degree of success.

Last fall, media around the world trumpeted a breakthrough in what has been called “one of the great mysteries of human biology.” The discovery of a gene known as “GPR54”—which plays a key role in regulating the onset of puberty—will lead to major infertility and cancer treatments. Nicknamed the “Harry Potter” gene, much of the work leading to its discovery was done in Bill’s laboratories at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The chief of the reproductive endocrine unit at Mass General and the director of the National Center for Infertility Research, Bill is also a professor of medicine and the director of the Harvard-wide Reproductive Endocrine Sciences Center at Harvard Medical School. In addition, he is the director of the National Center for Infertility Research, director of clinical research for the Massachusetts General Hospital, and a member of the MGH General Executive Committee and the Executive Committee on Research. Despite these many administrative duties, Bill has never lost sight of the values of compassion and curiosity, which motivated him to make a life in medicine.

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill earned his medical degree from Tufts University and completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. Through the years, he has tenaciously pursued his research interests in the neuroendocrine and genetic control of reproduction in the human.

Bill runs a world-class laboratory, well known as a premier center for training pre- and post-doctoral fellows for careers in biomedical research. In a field traditionally dominated by men, the majority of those fellows were women. In recognition of his support and concern, the Women in Endocrinology group presented Bill with the first “Mentor of the Year” award in 2000. He is also the recipient of the “Clinical Investigator Award” from The Endocrine Society.

For his explorations on the frontier of the healing arts, his capacity to create an environment in which science can transform our lives, and his generosity in guiding the healers of tomorrow, the College of the Holy Cross presents to William F. Crowley the Sanctae Crucis Award.