Reed Wickner graduated from Cornell University with a B.A. degree in 1962. He then went to medical school at Georgetown University and received his M.D. degree in 1966. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences [(AAAS)], and the American Academy of Microbiology, and has been a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is (as of 2012) Chief of the Laboratory of Biochemistry and Genetics at the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. His research interests pertain to prions and amyloid diseases.