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Monday, October 5, 2009


2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced this morning that the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Jack W. Szostak, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, and Carol Greider of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The three were honored for “for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.”

According to the Royal Swedish Academy, this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three scientists for solving a major problem in biology: how chromosomes can be copied in a complete way during cell divisions and how they are protected against degradation. The three scientists are being recognized for the discovery of the specialized process by which the ends of chromosomes are synthesized, and the discovery of the enzyme telomerase. Their work has revealed how organisms rely on the enzyme to protect their genome from degradation, and laid the groundwork for later studies linking telomerase to cancer and aging-related ailments in humans.

A very good summary of their work and contribution can be found at HHMI website. Click here for full text.

Jack W. Szostak's lab website.

Elizabeth Blackburn's lab website.

Carol Greider's lab website.

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