Home > New America

Elizabeth Blackburn

PLACE OF BIRTH: HOBART, TASMANIA TITLE: PRESIDENT, SALK INSTITUTE FOR BIOLOGICAL STUDIES IMPACT: ONE OF THE WORLD’S FOREMOST SCIENTISTS, BLACKBURN

PLACE OF BIRTH: HOBART, TASMANIA
TITLE: PRESIDENT, SALK INSTITUTE FOR BIOLOGICAL STUDIES
IMPACT: ONE OF THE WORLD’S FOREMOST SCIENTISTS, BLACKBURN CAME TO THIS COUNTRY IN 1975 to do post-doc work in molecular and cellular biology at Yale. Part of the draw was the women’s movement in this country, which encouraged her, she has said, to believe that she “would have a career in which she could thrive.” She headed west to conduct research at the University of California, Berkeley and UC, San Francisco. An advocate for stem cell research, Blackburn was ousted from George W. Bush’s President’s Council on Bioethics in 2004, reportedly because her views clashed with the president’s. “As a naturalized citizen,” she later said, “I have an immigrant’s love for my country. But our country must not fail us.” In 2009, Blackburn’s research into telomerase, an enzyme crucial to healthy DNA, would win her, along with two colleagues, the Nobel Prize. She was named head of the Salk Institute, one of the world’s most prestigious and influential centers for medical research, in 2015.
Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
Related Articles