Richard K. Wilson

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Richard K. Wilson
Born (1959-03-23) March 23, 1959 (age 56)
Institutions The Genome Institute
Washington University School of Medicine

Richard K. Wilson (born March 23, 1959) is an American Professor of Genetics and Professor of Molecular Microbiology at Washington University in St. Louis and Director of The Genome Institute.[1] He is an expert in molecular genetics and large-scale DNA sequence analysis. His laboratory at the Washington University School of Medicine has sequenced and analyzed bases of DNA from the genomes of bacteria, yeast, roundworms, plants, vertebrates, primates and humans. He and his colleagues at The Genome Institute sequenced the first animal genome - that of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans[2] - and contributed substantially to the sequencing and analysis of the human genome.[3] More recently, his laboratory was the first to sequence the genome of a cancer patient[4] and discover genetic signatures relevant to the pathogenesis of the disease.[5]

Building upon this achievement, Dr. Wilson's laboratory has sequenced the genomes of several hundred patients in an effort to discover clues that will facilitate more effective diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other human diseases. This includes participation in the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project[6] and The Cancer Genome Atlas.[7]

In addition to his position at The Genome Institute, Dr. Wilson is also a Research Member at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center,[8] and a member of their Senior Leadership Committee. He received his B.A. degree from Miami University in Ohio in 1981, his Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma in 1986 and was a Research Fellow in the Division of Biology at the California Institute of Technology (1986-1990).

In 2008, Dr. Wilson was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2008).[9] In 2011, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from Miami University,[10] and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences.[11]

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ Arbanas, Caroline. “Wilson leads quest to reveal the genome's secrets” Washington University School of Medicine. 16 April 2008.
  2. ^ C. elegans Project
  3. ^ Purdy, Michael. “Genome center is major contributor to ‘finished’ human genome sequence.” Washington University School of Medicine. 21 October 2004.
  4. ^ "Scientists Decode Cancer Cell DNA." CBS Evening News. 6 November 2008.
  5. ^ "Scientists Decode Set of Cancer Genes". The New York Times. 5 November 2008.
  6. ^ Pediatric Cancer Genome Project Research Contacts
  7. ^ The Cancer Genome Atlas Large-Scale Sequencing Research Network
  8. ^ Siteman Cancer Center Profile
  9. ^ Fellow. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 2008.
  10. ^ Distinguished Achievement Award. Miami University. 2011.
  11. ^ Distinguished Alumni Award. University of Oklahoma. 2011.

External links[edit]