Bowman earned a medical degree from Howard University and completed internships at Freedmen’s and Provident Hospitals in 1946. While serving in the army, he became the chief of pathology at the Medical Ntrition Laboratory at Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Aurora, Colorado. After leaving the army, Bowman traveled to Iran in 1955 to become chairman of pathology at Nemazee Hospital, a new facility in Shiraz.Continue Reading
In Iran, he encountered diseases such as smallpox, rabies and other conditions for the first time, which led him to pursue research in blood diseases, particularly favism, an enzyme deficiency caused by an inherited red blood cell disorder. Bowman expanded his research which led to the discoveries of the genetics of many diseases that targeted populations the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.
He developed contacts and collaborated with many staff members of the University of Chicago, which led to his professorship and becoming director of the university’s blood bank and the Comprehensive Sickle-Cell Anemia Center in 1971, and worked with the Nixon administration to obtain funding for the disease.
Bowman obtained certification by the American Board of Pathology in pathologic anatomy in 1951 and in clinical pathology in 1952. He became the first African-American professor to obtain tenure in the Biological Sciences Division of the University of Chicago and served as Assistant Dean of Students for Minority Affairs for the Medical School from 1986 to 1990, during which time he was made a fellow of the Hastings Center, a bio-ethics institute..Learn more about Molecular Biology & DNA