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BCRF Investigator Honored with International Dan David Prize

By BCRF | February 12, 2018

Dr. Mary-Claire King, a BCRF investigator since 1997, has been named a 2018 recipient of the international Dan David Prize.

The Dan David Prize recognizes innovative research that cuts across traditional boundaries. Each year, the prize is awarded to individuals or institutions that have made outstanding contributions to humanity.  It covers three dimensions in time – Past, Present and Future – with different areas of focus each year.

Dr. King, Professor of Genomic Sciences and Medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, is one of three recipients of the prize in Personalized Medicine, this year’s Future category. She will share the $1 million prize in recognition for her seminal work that “changed the understanding of hereditary cancer predisposition.”

“I consider the Dan David Prize a recognition of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, as much as a recognition of my work,” said Dr. King.

“The work honored by the Dan David committee is the translation of the science of BRCA1, BRCA2, and their sister genes for the individual benefit of every woman. This work was inspired by the BCRF and sponsored by BCRF for the past 20 years. It has been possible only because of extraordinary and consistent support from BCRF to me and to my colleagues Dr Ephrat Levy-Lahad in Jerusalem and Dr. Moien Kanaan in Bethlehem. We are all eternally grateful.” 

“Dr. King, who shared BCRF’s very first Rose Award with Joan Marks for their groundbreaking research on BRCA1, unlocked not just the field of hereditary cancer research but the entire expanse of precision medicine by so clearly linking mutated genes with clinical outcomes. Her impact has been and will continue to be immense.” Dr. Larry Norton, Medical Director of Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and BCRF Scientific Director.

The Dan David Prize was conceived by its namesake the philanthropist, Dan David, who established the Dan David Foundation in 2000 to recognize and reward those who have made a lasting impact on society and to help young students and entrepreneurs become the scholars and leaders of the future. Each prize recipient donates ten percent of their prize money to postgraduate students in their respective fields, thereby contributing to the community and fostering a new generation of scholars.

“Dr. King has been a visionary in the genetics of breast and ovarian cancer, pushing the field forward with her original work mapping BRCA1, the first breast cancer susceptibility gene, then creating modern multi-gene panel testing and increasing access to genetic testing for expanding groups within the population.  The impact of these contributions will be long-lasting and will continue to lead to progress in precision medicine, making her a perfect recipient of the Dan David Prize,” said Dr. Judy Garber, Director for the Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Chair of the BCRF Scientific Advisory Board.  

Please join BCRF in congratulating Dr. King on this award. Read more about her BCRF research here.