Jack W. Szostak

Facts

Jack W. Szostak

© The Nobel Foundation. Photo: U. Montan

Jack W. Szostak

Born: 9 November 1952, London, United Kingdom

Affiliation at the time of the award: Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA , Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA , Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Prize motivation: "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase."

Prize share: 1/3

Work

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 "cap" or telomere, as it is known, which protects it. After Elizabeth Blackburn discovered that telomeres have a particular DNA, through experiments conducted on ciliates and yeast, she and Jack Szostak proved in 1982 that the telomeres' DNA prevents chromosomes from being broken down.

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MLA style: Jack W. Szostak – Facts. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Media AB 2018. Sun. 23 Sep 2018. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2009/szostak/facts/>

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