Nobel laureate Dr. Carol Greider
Newly minted Nobel laureate Dr. Carol Greider will give the seventh annual Jeffrey M. Trent Lectureship in Cancer Research on Tuesday, Jan. 19 from 1 to 2 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10.
Greider received her B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1983 and her Ph.D. in 1987 from the University of California at Berkeley. In 1984, working together with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, she discovered telomerase, an enzyme that maintains telomeres, or chromosome ends.
Greider first isolated and characterized telomerase from the ciliate Tetrahymena. In 1988, as an independent Cold Spring Harbor fellow, she cloned and characterized the RNA component of telomerase. In 1990, she was appointed assistant investigator at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and became an investigator in 1994. She expanded the focus of her telomere research to include the role of telomere length in cell senescence, cell death and cancer.
Together with Dr. Calvin Harley, she showed that human telomeres shorten progressively in primary human cells. This work, along with work of other researchers, led to the idea that telomere maintenance and telomerase may play important roles in cellular senescence and cancer.
In 1997, Greider moved her laboratory to Johns Hopkins. In 1999, she was appointed professor and, in 2004, she was appointed the Daniel Nathans professor and director of the department of molecular biology and genetics.
Once at Hopkins, Greider’s group continued to study the biochemistry of telomerase and determined the secondary structure of the human telomerase RNA. She also expanded her work on a mouse model of dyskeratosis congenita and stem cell failure in response to short telomeres. Greider currently studies both the biochemistry of telomeres and telomerase, as well as the cellular organismal consequences of short telomeres.
Greider has won numerous awards for her work on telomerase, including the Gairdner Foundation Award in 1998, the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 2006, and the Dickson Prize in Medicine in 2007. In 2009, she accepted the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize and the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize.
Last Oct. 5, she was awarded the Nobel prize for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.