Carol W. Greider
Born: 15 April 1961, San Diego, CA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA
Prize motivation: "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase"
Prize share: 1/3
An organism's genes are stored within DNA molecules, which are found in chromosomes inside its cells' nuclei. When a cell divides, it is important that its chromosomes are copied in full, and that they are not damaged. At each end of a chromosome lies a kind of "cap" or telomere, as it is known, which protects it. After Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak discovered that telomeres have a particular DNA that prevents chromosomes from being broken down, Carol Greider, together with Blackburn, also discovered telomerase in 1984, which produces the telomeres' DNA.
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