News Release

REF NO.: 36

SUBJECT: Memorial honorary graduand receives Nobel Prize

DATE: October 5, 2009

Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, who is set to receive an honorary doctor of science degree during convocation ceremonies at Memorial Oct. 23, has won the Nobel Prize.
 Dr. Blackburn and her colleagues Carol Greider and Jack Szostak were  awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their chromosome research.
 The Karolinska Institute in Sweden, the steward of the Nobel Prize,  says the trio was honoured for showing how chromosomes can be copied  in a complete way during cell divisions and how they are protected against degradation. The Nobel Laureates have shown that the solution is to be found in the ends of the chromosomes – the telomeres – and in  an enzyme that forms them – telomerase.
"These discoveries had a major impact within the scientific community," the Nobel citation said. "The discoveries by Blackburn, Greider and  Szostak have added a new dimension to our understanding of the cell,
 shed light on disease mechanisms, and stimulated the development of  potential new therapies."
 Dr. Blackburn is a prominent biologist and physiologist at the University of California, San Francisco.
 Ironically, an earlier MUN Gazette article pointed out "she has  received all the major accolades of science with the exception of the Nobel Prize."
 The award includes a $1.5 million bonus, a diploma and an invitation  to the Nobel Prize ceremonies in Stockholm on Dec. 10.
            Dr. Greider is a professor in the department of molecular biology and  genetics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
 Dr. Szostak, a U.S. citizen who was born in London, England, grew up  in Canada and studied at McGill University. He has been at Harvard  Medical School since 1979 and is currently professor of genetics at  Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
            Dr. Blackburn will receive an honorary doctor of science at the 10 a.m. session of Convocation on Oct. 23.

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