William Kaelin obtained undergraduate and M.D. degrees from Duke University and completed his internal medicine training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he served as chief medical resident. He was a clinical fellow in medical oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of David Livingston, during which time he was a McDonnell Scholar. He is currently the Sidney Farber Professor of Medicine, in the Department of Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Doctor Kaelin is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the American College of Physicians, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine. He previously served on the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors, the AACR Board of Trustees, and the IOM National Cancer Policy Board. He has received numerous awards including the MSKCC Paul Marks Prize, the AACR Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Prize, a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award, the Canada International Gairdner International Award, the ASCI Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award, the Scientific Grand Prix of the Foundation Lefoulon-Delalande and the Institute of France, the Albert Lasker Prize, the Helis Award, and the Massry Prize. In 2019 Dr. Kaelin received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Kaelin was elected to the Duke University Board of Trustees in 2019 and serves on the Graduate and Professional Education and Research Committee and the Committee on Honorary Degrees.