Mary-Claire King
Medical Genetics
Genome Sciences
American Cancer Society Professor
Affiliate Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Associate Director, Medical Scientist MD/PhD Training Program (MSTP)

Faculty Information


Dr. King grew up in Chicago. She received her BA cum laude in Mathematics from Carleton College in Minnesota, her PhD in Genetics from the University of California at Berkeley, and her postdoctoral training at UC San Francisco. She was professor at UC Berkeley from 1976-1995 and has been American Cancer Society Professor of Medical Genetics and of Genome Sciences at UW since 1995. 

Education & Training: 
BA in Mathematics
Carleton College
PhD in Genetics
University of California, Berkeley
Postdoc Fellowship
UC San Francisco
National Academy of Medicine (formerly IOM)
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
National Academy of Sciences
President, American Society of Human Genetics
American Philosophical Society
Lasker-Koshland Award for Medical Research
National Medal of Science
(206) 616-4294
Mailing Address: 

University of Washington

Health Sciences Building, K-160

Seattle, WA 98195-7720

Research & Clinical Interests
Research Interests: 

My group studies the genetic causes of severe human disorders. Our tools are genomics, population genetics, molecular and cell biology, and genetics of model organisms. Our primary areas of interest are inherited breast and ovarian cancer, schizophrenia, inherited hearing loss, and neurological disorders in children. We have also been active in the development and application of genomics tools for human rights investigations.


King M-C, Wilson AC. Evolution at two levels in humans and chimpanzees. Science 188:107-16, 1975

Newman B, Austin MA, Lee M, King M-C.  Inheritance of human breast cancer:  Evidence for autosomal dominant transmission in high-risk families.  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 85:3044-3048, 1988.

Hall JM, Lee MK, Morrow J, Newman B, Anderson LA, Huey B, King M-C.  Linkage of early-onset familial breast cancer to chromosome 17q21. Science 250:1684-9, 1990

Ginther C, Issel-Tarver L, King M-C. Identifying individuals by sequencing mtDNA from teeth. Nature Genet 2:135-8, 1992

Friedman LS, Ostermeyer EA, Szabo CI, Dowd P, Lynch ED, Rowell SE, King M-C.  Confirmation of BRCA1 by analysis of germline mutations linked to breast and ovarian cancer in ten families.  Nature Genet 8:399-404, 1994

King M-C, Marks JR, Mandell JB, The New York Breast Cancer Study Group.  Risks of breast and ovarian cancer due to inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2Science 302: 643-6, 2003

Walsh T, McClellan JM, … King M-C, Sebat J.  Rare structural variants disrupt multiple genes in neurodevelopmental pathways in schizophrenia. Science 320: 539-43, 2008


McClellan J, King M-C. Genetic heterogeneity in human disease. Cell 141: 210-217, 2010

Walsh T, Lee MK, Casadei S, Thornton AM, Stray SM, Pennil C, Nord AS, Mandell JB, Swisher EM, King M-C. Detection of inherited mutations for breast and ovarian cancer using genomic capture and massively parallel sequencing. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107: 12629-33, 2010

Walsh T, Casadei S, Lee MK, Pennil CC, Nord AS, Thornton AM, Roeb W, Agnew KJ, Stray SM, Wickramanayake A, Norquist B, Pennington KP, Garcia RL, King M-C, Swisher EM. Mutations in 12 genes for inherited ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal carcinoma identified by massively parallel sequencing. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 108:18032-18037, 2011


Tobin DM, Roca FJ, Oh SF, McFarland R, Vickery TW, Ray JP, Ko DC, Zou Y, Bang ND, Chau TT, Vary JC, Hawn TR, Dunstan SJ, Farrar JJ, Thwaites GE, King M-C, Serhan CN, Ramakrishnan L. Host genotype-specific therapies can optimize the inflammatory response to mycobacterial infections. Cell 148: 434-446, 2012

Gulsuner S, Walsh T, Watts AC, Lee MK, Thornton AM, Casadei S, Rippey CF, Shahin H, Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia (COGS), PAARTNERS Study Group, Nimgaonkar VL, Go RCP, Savage RM, Swerdlow NR, Gur RE, Braff DL, King M-C, McClellan JM. Spatial and temporal mapping of de novo mutations in schizophrenia to a fetal prefrontal cortical network. Cell 154:518-29, 2013

Navon Elkan P, Pierce SB, Segel R, Walsh T, … King M-C, Levy-Lahad E.  Mutant adenosine deaminase 2 (ADA2) in a polyarteritis nodosa vasculopathy. New England J Med 370: 921-931, 2014

Complete bibliography: