Winning the 2009 Nobel Prize for Medicine was a long awaited accomplishment for Dr. Carol Greider, a molecular biologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Few women have had the opportunity to receive such an accomplished award.
Even though the honor will be presented to her this year, the initial discovery happened 25 years ago. Dr. Greider, along with her mentor, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn from the University if California, San Francisco, and Harvard scientist Dr. Jack Szostak will be presented with the Nobel Prize for their work with telomeres, which are regions of DNA at the end of a chromosome. The telomeres job is to protect the start of the chromosomes. The team will also be recognized for the discovery of telomerase, which is an enzyme that Dr. Greider discovered while she was making a small change to her experiment.
For years, she had been anticipating a phone call from the Nobel Committee for their accomplishments, but year after year she had no such luck until now, 25 years later, the much anticipated phone call happened.
Tomorrow, December 10th Dr. Greider will be receiving her prize in Stockholm, Sweden. Having the opportunity to work with her mentor, Dr. Blackburn, and for her love of the “lab”, Dr. Greider will always be thankful for the highly respected recognition, however she plans to continue working as usual and to continue her normal life as a mother to her two children.
With the new year approaching us, it is a great time to consider getting a mentor or being a mentor. You never know, you could be the next Nobel Prize winner! We love mentoring stories like these.