The French physician Pierre Paul Broca was the first to describe inherited breast cancer in 1866 (3), but modern epidemiological techniques were first applied to the disease by Janet Lane-Claypon in 1926 (4). In 1988, Dr. King demonstrated that some forms of early-onset familial breast cancer are heritable (7); in 1990, she showed that some heritable breast cancers are linked to a gene found on chromosome 17q21 (9). BRCA1 was cloned and sequenced by a group lead by Mark Skolnick of Myriad Genetics in 1994 (15). The first commercial test for mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 was brought to market in 1996. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that, as products of nature, genes could not be patented (18). Today, multigene panels and improved sequencing technologies allow patients to be screened for all cancer-predisposing mutations. Twenty years after it was cloned, the functions of BRCA1 in cell biology and cancer are still being elucidated.