Richard K. Wilson

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Richard K. Wilson
Born (1959-03-23) March 23, 1959 (age 58)
Institutions McDonnell Genome Institute
Washington University School of Medicine

Richard K. Wilson (born March 23, 1959) is an American expert in molecular genetics and large-scale DNA genomics. He is the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Genetics, and Professor of Molecular Microbiology at Washington University in St. Louis and Director of the McDonnell Genome Institute, which he cofounded in 1993.[1] His Institute is among the world’s leaders in genome analysis and has sequenced and analyzed billions bases of DNA from the genomes of bacteria, yeast, roundworms, plants, vertebrates, primates, and humans. Dr. Wilson and his colleagues at the McDonnell 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, their current focus is to utilize genome sequencing and analysis technology to discover clues that will facilitate more effective diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other human diseases. This includes participation in the Centers for Common Disease Genomics,[6] Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program,[7] Genome Reference Consortium, Pediatric Cancer Genome Project[8] and The Cancer Genome Atlas.[9]

In addition to his position at the McDonnell Genome Institute, Dr. Wilson is also a Research Member at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center,[10] where he is a member of the 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).[11] In 2011, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from Miami University[12] and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences.[13]

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. ^ "MGI Awarded 60m for New Centers for Complex Disease Genomics Network"
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Pediatric Cancer Genome Project Research Contacts
  9. ^ The Cancer Genome Atlas Large-Scale Sequencing Research Network
  10. ^ Siteman Cancer Center Profile
  11. ^ Fellow. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 2008.
  12. ^ Distinguished Achievement Award. Miami University. 2011.
  13. ^ Distinguished Alumni Award. University of Oklahoma. 2011.

External links[edit]