Brief Chronology

  • 1931 --Born Maxine Frank in New York City, February 15
  • 1952 --AB with high honors, Swarthmore College; married Daniel Morris Singer, with whom she would have four children
  • 1956 --Joined laboratory of nucleic acid biochemist Leon Heppel at the National Institutes of Health
  • 1957 --PhD in chemistry from Yale University
  • 1958-74 --Research Biochemist at the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Diseases
  • 1961-63 --Collaborated with Marshall Nirenberg in deciphering the genetic code
  • 1974 --Joined the National Cancer Institute; led scientists in discussion of the hazards of recombinant DNA technology as chairman of the Gordon Conference on Nucleic Acids
  • 1975 --Co-organized the Asilomar Conference, at which scientists drew up a framework for proceeding with recombinant DNA research under various safety precautions and restrictions; became chief of the Nucleic Acid Enzymology Section in the Laboratory of Biochemistry, National Cancer Institute
  • 1975-80 --Advised NIH Director Donald Fredrickson on drafting safety guidelines and environmental impact statement for recombinant DNA research
  • 1979 --Elected to the National Academy of Sciences
  • 1980-87 --Chief of the National Cancer Institute's Laboratory of Biochemistry
  • 1986 --Elected to membership in the Pontifical Academy of Sciences
  • 1988-2002 --President of the Carnegie Institution of Washington
  • 1992 --Awarded the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest scientific honor
  • 2007 --Received the Public Welfare Medal of the National Academy of Sciences