B is for Elizabeth Blackburn – Molecular Biologist #AtoZChallenge

B is for Elizabeth Blackburn – Molecular Biologist

++ A to Z of Notable Women in STEM ++

Photograph of Elizabeth Blackburn, Morris Herzstein Professor of Biology and Physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), received the 2012 American Institute of Chemists (AIC) Gold Medal, April 12, 2012 at Chemical Heritage Day at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, USA. Credit: Chemical Heritage Foundation CC BY-SA 3.0

Photograph of Elizabeth Blackburn, Morris Herzstein Professor of Biology and Physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), received the 2012 American Institute of Chemists (AIC) Gold Medal, April 12, 2012 at Chemical Heritage Day at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Credit: Chemical Heritage Foundation CC BY-SA 3.0

Elizabeth Blackburn is a molecular biologist who is a world expert on telomeres, structures on the ends of chromosomes that serve to protect the genetic information therein. She discovered the molecular structure of the telomere and in 2009, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for co-discovering the enzyme telomerase.

Human chromosomes (grey) capped by telomeres (white) Credit: U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program

Human chromosomes (grey) capped by telomeres (white)
Credit: U.S. Department of Energy Human Genome Program

She continues to study the influence of stress on the activity of telomerase and the size of the telomere and the effects this has on human health.

Telomere Credit: Samulili CC BY-SA 3.0

Telomere
Credit: Samulili CC BY-SA 3.0

Read more about Dr. Blackburn here.

See more notable women of STEM in my contribution to the April A to Z blogging challenge for 2016.

Add your own “B”-named women to the list in the comments below! Here are some others have suggested:
Raymonde Bonnefille – Paleoclimate, Paleobotany

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