Dr. Barbara Kaiser-McCaw Hecht is Director of Hecht Associates, Inc., consultants in Medical Genetics based in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Hecht is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Genetics both in Clinical Cytogenetics (Chromosome Genetics) and Medical Genetics (Genetic Counseling). Dr. Hecht attended Stanford University from which she received a BA and an MA in Biology. Her master's thesis done under Prof. Arthur Giese was on cell physiology and radiation.
Following receipt of her master's degree, she was Research Assistant in the Department of Biology at Stanford. She then worked as an Exobiologist for NASA doing research on the chemistry of extraterrestrial life with a special interest in Mars. She completed her PhD in Biology (Genetics) at the University of Oregon, Eugene under Prof. Edward Novitski. Her doctoral thesis was on the clonal origin of human tumors using the diseases ataxia- telangiectasia, Burkitt's lymphoma and ovarian teratomas as models. She did a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Medical Genetics under Dr. Robert D. Koler at the University of Oregon Medical School (now the Oregon Health Sciences University).
Dr. Hecht was Research Associate both there and at Portland State University. Her subsequent teaching positions included Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Associate Professor of Biology at Arizona State University and Professor of Medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
She has served on numerous scientific committees and published extensively in the field of Medical Genetics. Dr. Hecht was cofounder of the Southwest Biomedical Research Institute (now part of Genzyme, Inc.) in Arizona and served as its Senior Associate Director and Director of Laboratories. She has held positions in both diagnostic and research genetic laboratories in the United States and overseas. She was recipient of an ARC (French Cancer Society) Fellowship for Cancer Research at the University of Nice and worked there in the Laboratory for the Molecular Genetics of Human Cancers, a unit of the CNRS (the National Center for Scientific Research) in France. Dr. Hecht has reviewed articles for distinguished biomedical journals and is on the editorial board of the journal Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics. She is Co-Editor of the Webster's New World™ Medical Dictionary, Year 2000 First Edition.