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Patricia St. Lawrence; Geneticist Advocated Women's Rights

November 01, 1996

Patricia St. Lawrence, 74, a UC Berkeley genetics professor who championed women's rights in academe. She was founder and former president of the Berkeley Faculty Union and helped with studies by the Academic Senate that led to improved hiring and promotional opportunities for women and minorities. St. Lawrence also lobbied for the passage of legislation giving UC Berkeley faculty the right to see their personnel files in disputes over tenure and job discrimination. She continued her activism after retirement, helping to found and then head the group We Advocate Gender Equity (WAGE). Born in New York and educated at Bryn Mawr and Columbia University, St. Lawrence did postdoctoral studies at Stanford University. She specialized in the biochemical genetics of fungi and did much to further understanding of genetic suppressors--mutations in one gene that moderate the effects of a mutation in a second gene. On Oct. 23 in Orinda, Calif., of lung cancer.

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