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Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, a 2009 Nobel Laureate, was the Morris Herzstein Professor of Biology and Physiology at the University of California, San Francisco at the time of her Albany Prize honor. She is world-renowned for her groundbreaking discovery of the enzyme telomerasen, which plays a significant role in cellular aging and may help to unravel the mysteries of a variety of diseases from cancer to chronic stress disorders.
Joan Steitz, PhD, the Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, is best known for discovering and defining the function of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snrnps) in pre-messenger RNA. Many scientists believe that Dr. Steitz’s research may ultimately lead to breakthroughs in treating autoimmune diseases including lupus.