Maxine Singer received her Ph.D. in 1957 from Yale. At NIH she worked on RNA enzymology and the genetic code. Later, work on defective simian virus 40 genomes led to studies of highly repeated primate DNA and the discovery of a human transposable element. From 1988 through 2002 she was president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. A member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, she chaired the Academies' Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy, 1999-2005. She served on the Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, and the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Science magazine. Maxine has received the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award (1988), the National Medal of Science (1992) and the Public Welfare Medal of the National Academy of Sciences (2007). She is a life member of the International Board of the Weizmann Institute of Science.