Elizabeth Blackburn: A Nobel Prize-Winning Researcher Discovers Why We Get Old

The woman who broke scientific world records

Sylvia Dziuba
ILLUMINATION’S MIRROR

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Image source: Flickr: Nobel Laureate Elizabeth H. Blackburn (Medicine) 2

After years of trying to answer questions about the mysterious “blobs” at the end of our chromosomes, Elizabeth Blackburn, a trailblazing Australian-American scientist, was finally holding in her hands the answers to “why we get old?”

It was 1984, not long after Elizabeth received tenure, which she says, made her feel “very brave” to do whatever she wanted in her own lab — or her playground, as she prefers to call it — located in San Francisco, California.

But that’s not where her story begins.

Elizabeth grew up in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. She was surrounded by “books, science, and love of knowledge”, which she says was “part of growing up.” She has always loved animals. As a child, she used to pick up lethal jellyfish at the beach and sing to them.

She says it was curiosity that drove her to science, although she has a good measure of scientific blood running through her veins, coming from a long lineage of scientists and physicians.

Her family moved to Melbourne, mainland Australia, when she was in High School. That’s also where Elizabeth went on to complete her undergraduate and master’s degrees. But…

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Sylvia Dziuba
ILLUMINATION’S MIRROR

Journalist & Design Critic. I write and speak about #architecture #interiors & #objects.