Carnegie congratulates Mary-Claire King, one of our trustees, who last week was recognized by President Obama with the National Medal of Science for her “pioneering contributions to human genetics.”

King, who is the American Cancer Society Professor in the Departments of Genome Sciences and Medicine at the University of Washington, has made massive impacts on human health with her discovery of the hereditary nature of breast and ovarian cancer in some families. Her research has "empowered women and their doctors with science to better understand the choices that they make when it comes to their health and their future," Obama said during the awards ceremony. 

She is also a leader in the overlap between scientific endeavor and humanitarian activism who developed a technique for using DNA sequencing to identify victims in human rights investigations. She has carried out identifications for the United Nations War Crimes Tribunal and served as consultant to the Commission on the Disappearance of Persons of the Republic of Argentina.

Since 2007, King has displayed the same curiosity and dedication to her efforts as a Carnegie trustee that she has in her groundbreaking career. She is always eager to ask questions during presentations or devote time toward parsing the important details of her work on the Nominating & Governance and Research committees.

In his remarks, Obama praised King’s “stubborn” ability to “keep going until she proved herself right.” We are so lucky to have that very same high-achieving, headstrong mind apply itself to Carnegie’s institutional goals. And the world is lucky to have King’s enormous talents focused on improving medicine and society for all of us.

"Congratulations, Mary-Claire, on this tremendous and well-deserved achievement, and thank you for being part of the Carnegie family," said President Matthew Scott.  

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