Quick Hit: Two Women Win Nobel Prize

Americans Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider (along with Jack W. Szostak) won the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine today for discovering a key mechanism in the genetic operations of cells, an insight that has inspired new lines of research into cancer.

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  1. davenj
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Big win, and they deserve it. The discovery of telomerase is a big deal even outside of the medical applications, in that it gives us a greater understanding of chromosomal replication and maintenance. Practicality aside it’s just groundbreaking work that is so valuable we kind of take it for granted.

  2. dawn_of_the_bread
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    That should be really encouraging to young female scientists, and to young women considering a career in scientific research in general, given how few women have won science nobels in the past (I think something like 2% have been won by women – wonder what the figure is now!)

  3. kizelle
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I am currently a PhD student at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Carol Greider is one of the nicest and most down-to-earth people I have ever met. Hopkins is a close knit community, so I think I speak for everyone when I say that we are truly proud to be in her company. Congratulations, Dr. Greider!

  4. Sunil
    Posted October 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    What makes it even more great is the fact that Blackburn is Greider’s mentor.
    “To have Blackburn and Grieder win the prize is an incredible accomplishment for any scientist, but one that I think will pay huge dividends in helping our young women (and the mini-women that some of us Dads have) in appreciating that they too can be a world-class scientist. And as I wrote in 2006, the fact the Greider trained with Blackburn and developed such an accomplished, independent research program tells you something not only about Greider but about Blackburn-the-mentor.”

  5. davenj
    Posted October 8, 2009 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    The hits keep coming. Ada Yonath just became the first woman to take the prize for chemistry in 45 years for her work on ribosomes and binding mechanisms.

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