Mary-Claire King, PhD, professor of genetics and medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle, won the 2014 Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science for her contributions to medical research and human rights. Bestowed by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, the annual Lasker Awards “recognize the contributions of scientists, clinicians, and public servants who have made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of human disease” and carry a $250,000 honorarium.

In 1974, King began a meticulous analysis of more than 1,500 families of women with breast cancer, concluding that a single gene was responsible for breast cancers in some families. After analyzing DNA from hundreds of participating relatives, she reported in 1990 that a section of chromosome 17 was responsible for early-onset breast and/or ovarian cancer in some of the families. She named the gene locus BRCA1. She also developed DNA-based analysis to help families prove genetic relationships and reunite kidnapped and once-missing children with their biologic families.

In September, Louis J. DeGennaro, PhD, was named president and CEO of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), roles he has held on an interim basis since February; he joined the organization in 2005.

DeGennaro has more than 25 years of research, drug development, and management experience in academia and the private sector, including positions at the Max Planck Institute in Munich, Germany, and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Princeton, NJ.

Headquartered in White Plains, NY, LLS funds cancer research, supports educational and public-policy efforts, sponsors scientific conferences, and provides financial assistance to patients.

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