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Mary-Claire King, PhD

Mary-Claire King, PhD

University of Washington
Seattle, Washington

Class of 2013

The first demonstration of a genetic predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer by the localization of BRCA1 is one of the many accomplishments of Dr. King in her studies of the genetics of complex human diseases. Her first genetics work was proof of the close relationship between the genomes of humans and chimpanzees. While her work has focused primarily on inherited ovarian and breast cancer, she has also made major contributions to identifying genes responsible for both hearing loss and schizophrenia.

Dr. King has also used her expertise in genetics as a human rights activist. She developed the methodology of sequencing mitochondrial DNA in human remains and applied this technology to the identification of kidnapped children in Argentina and to the identification of genocide victims in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Ethiopia. She has developed collaborations throughout the world, has received numerous accolades including honorary doctorates from 13 universities and serves as a role model for women in science.

Career Highlights

2021 Canada Gairdner International Award
2020 William L. McGuire Memorial Lecture Award
2020  Brinker International Breast Cancer Award for Basic Science, Susan G. Komen for the Cure
2015 AACR Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research
2013 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize
2012 President, American Society of Human Genetics
2011 Elected Member, American Philosophical Society
2011 Elected Foreign Member, French Academy of Sciences
2010 Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lecture, American Association for Cancer Research
2008 Science of Oncology Award, American Society of Clinical Oncology
2007 Medal of Honor for Clinical Research, American Cancer Society
2006 A.H. Heineken Award for Medicine, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
2006 Women and Science Award, Weizmann Institute
2005 Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.
2004 Genetics Prize, Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation
1999 Nancy Brinker Award, Susan G. Komen Foundation
1994 G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award, American Association for Cancer Research
1994 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine
1973 PhD, University of California, Berkeley