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Center for Midlife Science pres.

Mary-Claire King, PhD [2019 MaryFran Sowers Memorial Lecture]

Inherited Breast and Ovarian Cancer: From Gene Discovery to Precision Medicine and Public Health

MaryFran Sowers Memorial Lecture MaryFran Sowers Memorial Lecture
MaryFran Sowers Memorial Lecture
A pre-eminent scholar, Dr. King leads studies to understand the genetic causes of serious human disorders including breast and ovarian cancer and schizophrenia. Her work focuses on disentangling genetic heterogeneity in complex traits, and on discovering rare alleles that cause common disorders. From her ground-breaking doctoral dissertation that transformed evolutionary biology to her formative work proving the existence of a major gene for a complex trait that demonstrated the genetic inheritance of breast cancer, Dr. King has contributed significantly to the advancement of scientific knowledge of genetics. Most recently, her laboratory developed and patented a targeted capture and massively parallel sequencing approach (BROCA) that detects mutations in breast and ovarian cancer genes.

A leading human rights advocate, Dr. King pioneered the development of genomics tools for human rights investigations including use of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing to match kidnapped children to possible maternal relatives after the end of Argentinian dictatorship of 1975-1983. Her approach is now used by governmental and United Nations forensic teams worldwide to identify remains of victims of extra-judicial execution and missing soldiers.

Dr. King received her PhD in Genetics from the University of California at Berkeley, and her postdoctoral training at UC San Francisco. A professor at UC Berkeley from 1976-1995, she has been the American Cancer Society Professor of Medical Genetics and Genome Sciences at the University of Washington since 1995. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (1994), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1999), and the National Academy of Sciences (2005) and is a past President of the American Society of Human Genetics. Among her many honors, she was awarded the Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science (2014), the National Medal of Science (2016) and the Advocacy Award of the American Society of Human Genetics (2018).
A reception, sponsored by UM Precision Health, will immediately follow the lecture.
MaryFran Sowers Memorial Lecture MaryFran Sowers Memorial Lecture
MaryFran Sowers Memorial Lecture
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