Congratulations to Mary-Claire King, Ph.D., Foundation Scientific Council Member, for 2014 Lasker Award!

Congratulations to Mary-Claire King, Ph.D., Foundation Scientific Council Member, for 2014 Lasker Award!

Posted: September 8, 2014

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The New York Times reports that Mary-Claire King, Ph.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, is one of five scientists to win this year’s Lasker Awards, science prizes that are among the most respected in the world. The awards have been recognizing the contributions of scientists, physicians, and public servants who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of human disease since 1945. Lasker Awards often presage future recognition by the Nobel committee, so they have become popularly known as "America's Nobels." Eighty-six Lasker laureates have received the Nobel Prize, including Foundation Scientific Council member and 2014 Foundation Productive Lives Awardee Eric R. Kandel, M.D.

Dr. King won the Lasker-Koshland Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science for “bold, imaginative” scientific and human rights accomplishments. Dr. King discovered a mutation in a gene she named BRCA1 that causes hereditary breast cancer; this discovery has led to life-saving breast cancer diagnostics. She is also being recognized for her human rights work in the deployment of DNA strategies that have reunited missing persons or their remains with their families.

According to the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, “The Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science honors scientists whose contributions to research are of unique magnitude and have immeasurable influence on the course of science, health, or medicine, and whose professional careers have engendered within the biomedical community the deepest feelings of awe and respect.”


Dr. King received a NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grant in 2006 to turn her attention to the complex genetics of schizophrenia. Read our interview with her in this past spring’s issue of The Quarterly: “Solving the Schizophrenia Puzzle.” We are very proud to count Dr. King as one of our esteemed Scientific Council members and are delighted at this recognition of her very significant contributions.  

Read the announcement of this award in The New York Times.

Learn more about the Lasker Foundation and the Lasker Awards.