Szostak, Jack William

Szostak, Jack William,

1952–, American molecular biologist, b. London, England, Ph.D. Cornell, 1977. Szostak has been a professor at Harvard Medical School and a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital since 1977. He shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Carol GreiderGreider, Carol Widney,
1961–, American molecular biologist, b. San Diego, Calif., Ph.D. Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1987. Greider was a researcher and professor at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York from 1987 to 1997, when she joined the faculty at Johns
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 and Elizabeth BlackburnBlackburn, Elizabeth Helen,
1948–, Australian-American molecular biologist, b. Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, Ph.D. Cambridge, 1975. Blackburn was a professor at the Univ. of California, Berkeley, from 1978 to 1990, when she transferred to California's San Francisco campus.
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 for solving the problem of how chromosomeschromosome
, structural carrier of hereditary characteristics, found in the nucleus of every cell and so named for its readiness to absorb dyes. The term chromosome
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 make complete copies of themselves during cell division and how they protect themselves against degradation during this process. Szostak and Blackburn discovered that a unique DNA sequence in telomeres (the region of DNA at the ends of the chromosomes) protects the chromosomes from degradation. In addition to increasing understanding of the cell, the three researchers's work shed light on disease mechanisms and stimulated the development of potential new disease therapies.
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