NASA-Supported Researcher Shares in Nobel Prize

Jack W. Szostak, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, is among a group of three researchers who have been awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Szostak, who shares this year's prestigious scientific award with Elizabeth H. Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, and Carol W. Greider of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, is also a principal investigator with NASA's Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology Program and a member of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. The award was presented by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on October 5th, and was given to the group "for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase." According to the Royal Swedish Academy, this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to these three scientists for solving a major problem in biology: how chromosomes can be copied in a complete way during cell divisions and how they are protected against degradation. For more information: http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2009/ [Source: NAI Newsletter]

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