Nobel prize winning molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn was born in Hobart on the island of Tasmania, Australia. Both of her parents were doctors. She took an early interest in animals and nature and went on to study biochemistry at the university in Melbourne. She later received her PhD from Cambridge University, England, where she also met her future husband. The couple eventually moved to Yale University in New Haven, USA, and later to the University of California in San Francisco. They have one son. Elizabeth Blackburn has taken an interest in the ethical implications of research and has contributed to the creation of a code regulating the field. Dr. Blackburn was president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California 2016-2018. In addition to the Nobel Prize, Blackburn has received nearly every major award in science, including the Lasker, Gruber and Gairdner prizes. She was named to the TIME 100 in 2007, the magazine’s yearly list of the most influential people in the world. She is a member of numerous prestigious scientific societies, including the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the Royal Society of London. Blackburn has shown an abiding commitment to public service in the scientific, academic and public policy arenas. She has served as president of both the American Association of Cancer Research and the American Society for Cell Biology, and has served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, including the influential journals Cell and Science. Helping to guide public science policy, she was a member of the Stem Cell Research Advisory Panel for the California State Legislature and a member of the President's Council of Bioethics, an advisory committee to the President of the United States. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009 was awarded jointly to Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase".
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