Thursday, October 22, 2009

AAUW Member Wins Nobel Prize

AAUW Member Wins Nobel Prize

Carol Greider Shares Prestigious Award for Physiology or Medicine

WASHINGTON, D.C. – AAUW celebrates Carol Greider, AAUW member-at-large and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with her two colleagues, Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak. Greider has been a member of AAUW since 2002.

Greider, Blackburn, and Szostak “discovered that telomeres are made up of simple, repeating blocks of DNA building blocks and are found in all organisms,” according to a Johns Hopkins University announcement. Understanding this biological process has paved the way to deeper knowledge of cancer and cellular aging.

“AAUW has a long history of supporting women in the sciences, and we are thrilled to count another Nobel Prize winner among our ranks,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. In 1920, AAUW awarded two-time Nobel Prize recipient Marie Curie a grant to assist with her groundbreaking research on radium. AAUW member Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, was nominated for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for his work supporting education for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Greider, who holds a doctorate in molecular biology from the University of California, Berkeley, currently works as the Daniel Nathans Professor and Director of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences. She, Blackburn, and Szostak will attend the Nobel Prize awards ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, on December 10.

“Greider and Blackburn have shown that women can break through barriers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics,” said AAUW President Carolyn H. Garfein. “Their accomplishment serves as an excellent example of women making valuable contributions and the need that exists for supporting and encouraging great female minds, as AAUW does with our fellowships, grants, and community of successful women.”

In 2009 a record five women were awarded Nobel Prizes. Prior to this year, only 35 women had ever received the honor. Greider and Blackburn were the first two women to simultaneously win the prize in medicine.

The three other 2009 female laureates include Ada Yonath, who is sharing the Nobel Prize in chemistry; Herta Mueller, who won the prize in literature; and Elinor Ostrom, who is sharing the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Ostrom is the first woman to win the economics prize.

To read what AAUW said on our blog about this year’s Nobel Prize winning women, please visit

To view Marie Curie’s page in AAUW’s online museum, please visit

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