Mary Claire-King, PhD, the geneticist who discovered the BRCA1 gene that has been linked to increased breast cancer risk, will be the featured speaker at Upstate Medical University’s rst Presidential Symposium Oct. 28 and 29.
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The event will be held at the CNY Biotech Accelerator, 841 E. Fayette St., Syracuse. The event is free and open to the public with free on-site parking available.
The two-day symposium will explore genetics and precision medicine and feature two presentations by King as well as discussions with other experts.
King, professor of medicine and genome sciences at the University of Washington, is one of the leading scientists of the day.
Upstate President Danielle Laraque-Arena, MD, FAAP, said King was not only an incredible scientist but also a human rights activist. “Her visit will exemplify not only the highest level of science, but the application of science to do good,” Laraque-Arena said.
In 1990, King demonstrated that a single gene on chromosome 17q21 (which she named BRCA1) was responsible for breast and ovarian cancer in many families. Her discovery of BRCA1 revolutionized the study of numerous other common inherited diseases. The approach that King developed to identify BRCA1 has since proven valuable in the study of many other genetic diseases and conditions.
Her discovery has made it possible to screen for ovarian and breast cancers.
In addition to her genetic research on cancer, she has examined genetics of schizophrenia, genetic disorders in children and human evolution. She pioneered the use of DNA sequencing for human rights investigations. Her current research employs the use of experimental and bioinformatics genomics tools to study complex genetic diseases in humans.
In 1984 she and her laboratory worked on the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo) in Argentina, using genetics to identify 59 of the missing children whose mothers
disappeared under the Argentine military dictatorship.
She has been honored with some of science’s biggest prizes. This past May, President Barak Obama presented King with the National Medal of Science. In presenting the medal, Obama said,
Every single American should be grateful for Mary-Claire King’s path.
Earlier this year, the National Foundation for Cancer Research presented King with the Szent-Gyorgi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research.
Two years earlier she won the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation Award, often known as America’s Nobel for her pioneering work on gene research.
Symposium schedule for Oct 28
Symposium schedule for Oct. 29
For more information on the Presidential Symposium, contact the Of ce of the President at 464-4513.
Geneticist Mary-Claire King, PhD, with President Barack Obama during ceremony at the White House May 19, where she was awarded the National Medal of Science in recognition of her research into the genetics of human disease. King, a professor of genome sciences and medicine at the University of Washington, is the keynote speaker at Upstate Medical University’s rst Presidential Symposium, to be held Oct. 28 and 29.