For those of you not yet acquainted with Salk’s new president, I’m pleased and honored to introduce Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn.
Elizabeth joins the Institute at a remarkable time in the history of biological research, an era when science is rapidly uncovering the underpinnings of health and disease. The future offers incredible promise, and she is the right person to lead Salk forward.
Her scientific accomplishments are extraordinary. She shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 for discovering the molecular nature of telomeres, the protective caps on chromosomes, and for co-discovering telomerase, an enzyme that maintains telomeres. Her discoveries launched an entire field of research into the aging process and may offer novel routes for managing age-related diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and dementia.
In addition to her Nobel Prize and numerous other prestigious scientific awards, Elizabeth won the respect of the international scientific community for her warm collegiality and abiding commitment to public service. Among her innumerable contributions, she was president of both the American Association for Cancer Research and the American Society for Cell Biology and served on editorial boards for influential journals such as Cell and Science.
Elizabeth once said in an interview that the best advice she ever received was to “put yourself in the very, very best environment where the best people are and best work is going on.” I think she’s done just that in joining us here at the Salk Institute and we couldn’t be more optimistic about the future under her leadership.
Irwin Mark Jacobs, ScD
Chairman, Salk Board of Trustees