Biological Researcher at the University of California, San Francisco and Nobel Prize winner for co-discovering of telomerase, the enzyme that replenishes the telomere.
Dr. Blackburn discovered the molecular features and mechanism of telomere maintenance and the enzyme telomerase. This fundamental pioneering research underpins and has revolutionized the understanding of cellular life span regulation, cancer, and human aging. She studied biology at the University of Melbourne and took her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in 1975. She then moved to Yale University before joining the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley, in 1978. She joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology of the University of California, San Francisco in 1990, and is currently Morris Herzstein Professor of Biology and Physiology at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UCSF. Dr. Blackburn has received numerous honors and scientific awards for her work on telomeres and telomerase, including the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research 2006, the 2008 L’Oréal/UNESCO Prize “For Women in Science,” the 2008 Albany Medical Center Prize, and the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (together with her collaborators Drs. Jack Szostak and Carol Greider). Dr. Blackburn became an American citizen in 2003 and in 2007 was listed by Time Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
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