Carol Marcus was born and raised in New York City. She received her B.S. in General Biology in 1960, an M.S. in Radiation Biology in 1961, and a Ph.D. in Physical Biology in 1963, all at Cornell University. She spent a year doing radiobiology research at the RVO-TNO in Rijswijk, The Netherlands. She then worked at the Laboratory of Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Biology at UCLA, taught general biology at Santa Monica College for several years, and then went to USC to teach radiobiology, radioisotope methodology, and journal club in their new radiopharmacy graduate program. This continued for 17 years. Several years after starting at USC she began medical school, graduating valedictorian and doing an internship and residency in internal medicine and then a second residency in nuclear medicine. She then became Assoc, Director of Nuclear Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, a position she held for 17 years until retirement as Professor of Radiological Sciences at UCLA. After retirement she became Prof. of Radiation Oncology at UCLA and taught radiopharmaceutical therapy to the radiation oncology residents and nuclear medicine residents, and eventually became a Prof. of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology (Nuclear Medicine) at UCLA as well. She has had a consulting business on the side since 1970. Throughout her career she has been active in government affairs, serving as Chair of the Government Relations Committee of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and of the American College of Nuclear Physicians for many years and being a member or Chairman of advisory committees at the FDA, NRC, and U.S. Pharmacopoeia. She was President of the California Chapter of the American College of Nuclear Physicians for eight years and Vice-President of the Society of Nuclear Medicine.
She has been married for 57 years and has two children and seven grandchildren.