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Geneticist Mary-Claire King receives the 2013 Paul Ehrlich Prize
Date:3/14/2013

FRANKFURT am MAIN. The 100,000 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize goes this year to Mary-Claire King, American Cancer Society Professor in the Department of Genome Sciences and Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle. Mary-Claire King is being awarded the prize for her outstanding research achievements in the field of human genetics. She is one of the world's leading geneticists in the area of cancer and forensic genetics. "Mary-Claire King was the first to demonstrate that there is a genetic predisposition for breast cancer. This proof has permanently changed thinking about the genetics of common complex diseases," wrote the Scientific Council of the Paul Ehrlich Foundation in explaining its decision. Professor King has also worked for decades in identifying the victims of human rights violations around the world. The Scientific Council continued: "She makes it clear that genetics can benefit humanity." The award ceremony will take place today, the 159th birthday of Paul Ehrlich, in the Paulskirche, Frankfurt. Awarded annually since 1952, the Prize is among the most highly respected international prizes awarded in the Federal Republic of Germany in the field of medicine.

Breast and ovarian cancers are inherited as an autosomal dominant trait in some families. King has shown that some of the mutations responsible are to be found in a gene that she called BRCA1, which stands for breast cancer susceptibility gene 1. Genes are therefore also involved in complex, multifactorial diseases, which may in addition be influenced by environmental and lifestyle factors. Since the discovery of BRCA1, BRCA2 and other breast cancer genes, programs for women suffering from these types of cancer have been established everywhere. King's discoveries and her calculations for the risk of falling ill with breast or ovarian cancer have fundamentally changed the management of hereditary breast cancer.

The prizewinner has also identified other di
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Contact: Dr. Hildegard Kaulen
Paul-Ehrlich-Stiftung@pvw.uni-frankfurt.de
49-612-252-718
Goethe University Frankfurt
Source:Eurekalert  

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Geneticist Mary-Claire King receives the 2013 Paul Ehrlich Prize
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