Mary-Claire King, Ph.D.

Mary-Claire King, Ph.D.
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Scientific Council Member (Joined 2009)

2006 Distinguished Investigator Grant

Mary-Claire King, Ph.D.

bbrf awards icon Title & Institution

American Cancer Society Professor

Professor, Medical Genetics

Professor, Genome Sciences

Adjunct Professor, Epidemiology

Department of Medicine and the Department of Genome Sciences

University of Washington-Seattle
bbrf awards icon BBRF Awards & Recognition
bbrf awards icon Bio

Mary-Claire King was the first to prove that breast cancer is inherited in some families as the result of mutations in the gene that she named BRCA1. In addition to inherited breast and ovarian cancer, her research interests include the genetic basis of schizophrenia and human genetic diversity and evolution. She also pioneered the use of DNA sequencing for human rights investigations, developing the approach of sequencing mitochondrial DNA preserved in human remains, then applying this method to the identification of kidnapped children in Argentina and subsequently to cases of human rights violations on six continents.

Dr. King received her Ph.D. in genetics from the University of California at Berkeley, where her dissertation in 1973 demonstrated that humans and chimpanzees are 99% genetically identical. Dr. King has served on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health and the National Commission on Breast Cancer of the President’s Cancer Panel.

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