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The Prix Galien USA Awards Committee Selects Professor Mary-Claire King as 2015 Pro Bono Humanum Honoree

NEW YORK, June 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Galien Awards Committee announced today that Mary-Claire King, Professor of Genome Sciences and Medical Genetics at the University of Washington and renowned geneticist, will receive the 2015 Pro Bono Humanum Award at the ninth annual Prix Galien USA Awards ceremony.


The Pro Bono Humanum Award recognizes ground-breaking efforts in improving human health. Professor King is the first woman recipient of the award.  

The Galien Awards Committee selected Professor Mary-Claire King in recognition of her work in transforming the application of human genetics to medicine through identification of the first gene, BRCA1, responsible for inherited susceptibility to breast cancer.  Professor King also demonstrated that the genomes of humans and chimpanzees are 99% identical, and pioneered the application of genetic sequencing in forensics to identify victims of human rights abuse.

This prestigious award, first bestowed on Dr. P. Roy Vagelos in 2007, will be presented at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on October 27, 2015, by Professor Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Ph.D., President of The Rockefeller University and Head of the Laboratory of Brain Development and Repair.

"Professor King's work in the application of human genetics to medicine and her discovery of BRCA1, the so-called breast cancer gene, has been truly transformational in the diagnosis and treatment of the disease," said Dr. P. Roy Vagelos, Chairman of the Committee. "We are proud to name Professor King recipient of the 2015 Pro Bono Humanum Award for her unwavering dedication to improving women's health around the world."

Previous recipients of the Pro Bono Humanum Award include:

Dr. Bernard Kouchner (2014),
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci (2013),
Dr. Francis S. Collins (2012),
Pr. Paul Farmer (2011),
President Bill Clinton and Dr. Philippe Douste-Blazy (2010),
Pr. Barry Bloom and Pr. Jeffrey Sachs (2009),
Dr. Sheldon Segal and the Population Council (2008),
Dr. P. Roy Vagelos (2007)

About the Galien Foundation

The Galien Foundation fosters, recognizes and rewards excellence in scientific innovation to improve the state of human health. Our vision is to be the catalyst for the development of the next generation of innovative treatment and technologies that will impact human health and save lives.

The Foundation oversees and directs activities in the USA for the Prix Galien, an international award that recognizes outstanding achievements in improving the human condition through the development of innovative therapies. The Prix Galien was created in 1970 by Roland Mehl in honor of Galen, the father of medical science and modern pharmacology. Worldwide, the Prix Galien is regarded as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in biopharmaceutical research.

Those interested in attending the Prix Galien USA Awards ceremony, as well as the Galien Forum, an event prior to the awards that features roundtable debates focusing on critical, global healthcare issues and challenges, can register here:

For more information visit

Galien Foundation Media Contact:

Lee A. Davies

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