Mary-Claire King, the American Cancer Society Professor of Genome Sciences and of Medicine in the Division of Medical Genetics, has received the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medal.
The UCSF Medal is the highest award given by the school, and has replaced honorary degrees. The medal recognizes people who have made outstanding personal contributions to the health sciences.
King was honored for her work in genetics, as well as her activism for the use of biology in helping those who are oppressed. She has pioneered the field of breast and ovarian cancer genetics, and also researches population genetics, inherited deafness, and the interaction between genetic and environmental influences on human traits. King also works for human rights, and has used DNA studies to identify victims of human rights violations in South America, Africa, and Eastern Europe.
After graduating from Carleton College and receiving a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, King completed her postdoctoral work at UCSF. She returned to UC Berkeley as a professor before coming the UW in 1995.