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Janice Spence, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 275-7842

Fax: (585) 276-2200

Faculty Appointments


Dr. Spence is working with Dr. Richard Burack, Director of Hematopathology, in studying the mechanisms involved in lymphomagenesis and lymphoma transformation. The focus of the research is to identify mechanisms directly relevant to human disease.

As an adjunct faculty member, Dr. Spence has developed and taught introductory and upper level microbiology courses at SUNY Brockport, Rochester Institute of Technology, and St. John Fisher College.


I am working in the laboratory of W. Richard Burack, M.D., Ph.D, Director of the Hematopathology Department of Strong Memorial Hospital. Research goals include the development and validation of novel approaches to the diagnosis of hematopoietic malignancies, with special emphasis on lymphomas. Unlike leukemias, in which genetic aberrations generate fusion proteins with mixed regulation and functionality, the characteristic genetic lesion in non-Hodgkins lymphomas involve gene dysregulation through their chromosomal translocation into the IG and TCR regions, which are highly expressed in lymphocytes. Many of these translocations are balanced, which prevents their identification through CGH array methodologies and requires genetic karyotyping and/or FISH for diagnosis, assays which are technically sophisticated. Our approach is two-fold. First, we are developing diagnostic assays based on relatively simple technologies that can be used to identify the common balanced translocations associated with non-Hodgkins lymphomas, suitable for use in a wide-range of diagnostic settings. Second, we are looking to identify a large number of chromosomal markers in lymphomas that will allow for the sub-categorization of these malignancies with regard to clinical outcomes and therapeutic responses. This exploratory approach is based on a novel use of array technologies, using custom oligo arrays to analyze labeled primer extension products which initiate within the well-characterized IG/TCR locations. This use of primer extension products as the analyte allows for the identification of normal gene regions translocated into highly expressed sites, adding the ability to determine spatial proximity to standard CGH arrays.



BS | Michigan State Univ
Medical Technology

MS | Michigan State Univ
Clinical Laboratory Science

PhD | University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

2001 - 2007
Postdoctoral Fellow, Microbiology, University of Rochester Medical Center


University of Rochester Medical Center Developmental Grant

Melvin A. Hare Award for Excellence in Research

American Society for Microbiology Student Travel Grant

Melvin A. Hare Award for Excellence in Teaching

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Journal Articles

Burack WR, Laughlin TS, Friedberg JW, Spence JM, Rothberg PG. "PCR assays detect B-lymphocyte clonality in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens of classical hodgkin lymphoma without microdissection." American journal of clinical pathology.. 2010 Jul 0; 134(1):104-11.

Spence JM, Wright L, Clark VL. "Laboratory maintenance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae." Current protocols in microbiology.. 2008 Feb 0; Chapter 4:Unit 4A.1.

Isabella V, Wright LF, Barth K, Spence JM, Grogan S, Genco CA, Clark VL. "cis- and trans-acting elements involved in regulation of norB (norZ), the gene encoding nitric oxide reductase in Neisseria gonorrhoeae." Microbiology.. 2008 Jan 0; 154(Pt 1):226-39.