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pericakvanceDr. Margaret Pericak-Vance is a James B. Duke Professor of Medicine and the Director for the Center for Human Genetics at Duke University. A native of Buffalo, New York, she attended Holy Angels Academy and is a graduate of Wells College in Aurora, NY. She received her PhD in Medical Genetics from Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, IN. She is a founding fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics and a board-certified PhD medical geneticist. Dr. Pericak-Vance has been a leader in deciphering the genetic basis for numerous genetic disorders since publishing the first comprehensive gene mapping study for Huntington disease. She has received widespread and significant recognition for her research, including the “most cited paper” award for her research on the genetic cause of Alzheimer disease published in 1993 in Science magazine. Dr. Pericak-Vance’s work also resulted in an award from Popular Science magazine for “The Best of What’s New in Science and Technology.” She was named by Newsweek magazine in 1997 as a member of the “Century Club: 100 People to Watch as We Move to the Next Millennium.” In 2001, Dr. Pericak-Vance received the prestigious “Louis D” Foundation Award from the Institut de France for her research in Alzheimer disease. In 2004, she was elected to the Institute of Medicine and was awarded the “Pioneers of Science” award from the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute award for her major contributions to the understanding of the molecular basis of genetic disease. In 2005, Dr. Pericak-Vance was senior author on a paper published in the journal Science, “Complement factor H variant increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration,” which was named a most frequently cited paper by Essential Science Indicators. She has coauthored more than 360 peer reviewed research papers and is the co-editor of the seminal text on the genetics of complex human diseases (Approaches to Gene Mapping in Complex Human Diseases, Wiley-Liss, 2nd Edition, 2006). She is the recipient of numerous grant awards from the National Institutes of Health in support of her research. Her laboratory’s accomplishments include the discovery of genetic defects associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Alzheimer disease, autism, and age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly). These major discoveries have led to new insights about the causes of complex common diseases .A more complete description of Dr. Pericak-Vance’s contributions is available at http://www.chg.duke.edu.