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Related Links:
Nobel: Blackburn
Nobel: Greider
UC San Francisco
Johns Hopkins

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Elizabeth Blackburn
Elizabeth Blackburn
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Elizabeth Blackburn Profile

Nobel Prize in Medicine

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  Elizabeth Blackburn

Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Carol Greider are pioneers in the study of telomeres, segments of DNA that help determine the number of times a cell divides, an event that affects the life span and health of cells, and the development of some cancers.

Carol Greider was a graduate student of Dr. Blackburn's at the University of California, Berkeley in 1985, when she discovered the enzyme telomerase, which creates telomeres. This discovery has spawned a whole new field of research, with Dr. Blackburn and Dr. Greider in the forefront.

Blackburn and her team at the University of California, San Francisco, have succeeded in more than doubling the life span of cells in the laboratory, research which may hold promise for controlling age-related and degenerative disorders. Greider's research at Johns Hopkins University focuses on the biochemistry of telomerase, and on the consequences of telomere dysfunction, including the role of telomeres in cancer.

In awarding Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol Greider the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine, the awards committee noted that their discoveries "...have added a new dimension to our understanding of the cell, shed light on disease mechanisms, and stimulated the development of potential new therapies."

This page last revised on Nov 05, 2009 20:15 EDT
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