Dr. Mary-Claire King, adjunct professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, will receive the 2014 Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement in Medical Science for her discoveries in DNA research. The award, one of the most prestigious scientific prizes, will be presented September 19 in New York City by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. Dr. King will receive a $250,000 honorarium.
Dr. King was cited by the foundation for her “bold, imaginative, and diverse contributions to medical science and human rights.” Dr. King is a UW professor of medicine and of genome sciences and a world leader in cancer genetics. She is credited with identifying the BRCA1 gene that leads to inherited susceptibility of breast cancer and for using DNA sequencing to identify victims of human rights abuses in Argentina. While a graduate student at the University of California-Berkeley, she demonstrated that humans and chimpanzees are more than 99 percent genetically identical.