The Next President of the Salk Institute

blackburnElizabeth Blackburn was named the next president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, effective January 1. The institute was established by Jonas Salk, developer of the polio vaccine. It opened in 1963. At the time Dr. Salk said, “we cannot be certain what will happen here, but we can be certain it will contribute to the welfare and understanding of man.”

The institute conducts research on human diseases, global warming, and agricultural science. It is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the March of Dimes, and other foundations.

Dr. Blackburn has been serving as a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. She joined the faculty there in 1990. Previously, she taught at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2009, she won the Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine for her research on the molecular nature of telomeres.

A native of Tasmania, Dr. Blackburn earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Melbourne. She then was awarded a Ph.D. in molecular biology at the University of Cambridge in England and did postdoctoral research at Yale University.

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