Elizabeth H. Blackburn, PhD
University of California, San Francisco
Leader in telomere and telomerase research
  • Nobel prize winner for discoveries elucidating the genetic composition and function of telomeres (segments of DNA occurring at the ends of chromosomes).
  • Discovered an enzyme called telomerase (replenishes DNA).
  • Was elected Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences in 1993, and was elected as a Member of the Institute of Medicine in 2000. She was awarded the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award in Basic Medical Research (2006). In 2007, she was named one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People, and she was the 2008 North American Laureate for L'Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science.
  • Among nonscientists, she first made headlines in 2004, when she was fired from President George W. Bush's Council on Bioethics for her continued advocacy of human embryonic stem cell research, which the Bush administration considered unethical and refused to fund.
Program Information:
Previous Inductees:
2013 | 2014
2015 | 2016
2017 | 2018
2019 | 2020