July 9, 1926
|Alma mater||University of Geneva, Ph.D., 1953|
|Employer||Weizmann Institute of Science, Cornell University Medical School, Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research|
|Known for||Founding chairman of amfAR, an association for AIDS research|
|Spouse(s)||Arthur B. Krim|
|Awards||16 doctorates honoris causa, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Jefferson Awards Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged|
Life and work
Dr. Mathilde Krim (née Galland) was born in Como, Italy to a Swiss Protestant father and Italian Catholic mother. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, in 1953. From 1953 to 1959, she pursued research in cytogenetics and cancer-causing viruses at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, where she was a member of the team that first developed a method for the prenatal determination of sex.
Krim then moved to New York and joined the research staff of Cornell University Medical School following her 1958 marriage to Arthur B. Krim—a New York attorney, head of United Artists, founder of Orion Pictures, and advisor to Lyndon Johnson. It was at Krim's NYC home on May 19, 1962 that the famous 45th birthday party for President John F. Kennedy was held, with many famous persons in attendance (Robert Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Maria Callas, Jack Benny, Harry Belafonte).
In 1962 Krim became a research scientist at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research and, from 1981 to 1985, she was the director of its interferon laboratory. She currently holds an academic appointment as Adjunct Professor of Public Health and Management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Soon after the first cases of what would later be called AIDS were reported in 1981, Dr. Mathilde Krim recognized that this new disease raised grave scientific and medical questions and that it might have important socio-political consequences. She dedicated herself to increasing the public’s awareness of AIDS and to a better understanding of its cause, its modes of transmission, and its epidemiologic pattern."
Krim holds 16 doctorates honoris causa and has received numerous other honors and distinctions. In August 2000, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, in recognition of her "extraordinary compassion and commitment." In 2003, Krim received the Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.
She is a convert to Judaism and was an active member of the Jewish resistance movement Irgun, headed by Menachem Begin, prior to Israel's independence. She was also very active in collecting donations for Israel.
- Encyclopædia Britannica entry
- Leadership; Mathilde Krim Bio
- National Winners | public service awards | Jefferson Awards.org
- Klemesrud, Judy (1984-11-03). "Dr. Mathilde Krim: Focusing Attention On AIDS Research". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- Carmody, Deirdre (1990-01-30). "Painful Political Lesson for AIDS Crusader - New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- A film clip "The Open Mind - AIDS (1986)" is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- A film clip "The Open Mind - AIDS . . . A Modern Plague Revisited I (1994)" is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- A film clip "The Open Mind - AIDS . . . A Modern Plague Revisited II (1994)" is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]