External Advisory Board
Elizabeth H. Blackburn, PhD
Professor, Departments of Biochemistry and Biophysics, and
Microbiology and Immunology,
University of California, San Francisco
Dr. Blackburn is a leader in the area of telomere and telomerase research. She has broad experience in the different aspects of telomere function and biology. She discovered the ribonucleoprotein enzyme, telomerase. Hers is a lead laboratory in manipulating telomerase activity in cells, and she has amassed considerable knowledge and experience in the effect of this activity on cells.
Blackburn and her research team at the University of California, San Francisco, are working with a variety of organisms and human cancer cells with the goal of understanding telomerase and telomere biology. Her work on telomeres and telomerase has been published extensively in peer-reviewed journals.
Blackburn earned her BSc (1970) and MSc (1972) degrees from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and her PhD (1975) from the University of Cambridge in England. She did her postdoctoral work in molecular and cellular biology from 1975 to 1977 at Yale University.
In 1978, Blackburn joined the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley in the Department of Molecular Biology. In 1990, she joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UC San Francisco, where she served as department chair from 1993 to 1999. She is currently a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and a non-resident fellow of the Salk Institute.
Throughout her career, Blackburn has been honored by her peers as the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Eli Lilly Research Award for Microbiology and Immunology (1988), the National Academy of Science Award in Molecular Biology (1990), and an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Yale University (1991).