2015 Herbert and Maxine Block Memorial Lectureship Award Recipient

Block Lectureship Carol GreiderCarol Greider, PhD, became the 21st recipient of the Herbert and Maxine Block Memorial Lectureship Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer in March 2015.

Greider received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1983 and a 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.

In 1988, Dr. Greider went to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory where, as an independent Cold Spring Harbor Fellow, she cloned and characterized the RNA component of telomerase. In 1990, Dr. Greider was appointed as an assistant investigator at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, followed later by appointment to Investigator in 1994. She expanded the focus of her telomere research to include the role of telomere length in cellular senescence, cell death and in cancer.

In 1997, Dr. Greider moved her laboratory to the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 2003, she was appointed as the Daniel Nathans Professor and Director of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. At Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Greider’s group continued to study the biochemistry of telomerase and determined the secondary structure of the human telomerase RNA. In addition, she characterized the loss of telomere function in mice, which allowed an understanding of humans short telomere diseases, such as bone marrow and other stem cell failure diseases.

Dr. Greider shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2009 with Drs. Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak for their work on telomeres and telomerase.

Dr. Greider currently directs a group of eight scientists studying both the role of short telomeres in age-related disease and cancer as well as the regulatory mechanism that maintain telomere length.

Previous Award Recipients

(Note: affiliations listed were those held at time of award.)

  • Samuel Broder, MD, director of the National Cancer Institute
  • Robert C. Young, MD, president, Fox Chase Cancer Center (Philadelphia)
  • Bert Vogelstein, MD, professor of Oncology and Molecular Biology/Genetics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore)
  • Judah Folkman, MD, Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Children’s Hospital (Boston)
  • V. Craig Jordan, PhD, DSc, professor of Pharmacology and director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center, Northwestern University Medical Center (Chicago)
  • Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, director, Division of Cancer Control and Population Science, National Cancer Institute
  • Richard D. Klausner, MD, director of the National Cancer Institute
  • John Potter, MD, PhD, director of the Cancer Prevention Research Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle)
  • Donald Coffey, PhD, professor of Urology, Oncology, Pathology, Pharmacology and Molecular Science, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore)
  • David Botstein, PhD, professor and chair, Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine (Palo Alto, California)
  • Daniel Von Hoff, MD, professor of Medicine, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Pathology; director, Arizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona (Tucson)
  • Carlo Croce, MD, director of the Kimmel Cancer Institute/Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia); subsequently joined Ohio State where he serves as director of the Human Cancer Genetics Program
  • Larry Norton, MD, medical oncologist leader of the Breast Disease Management Team at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (New York)
  • C. Norman Coleman, MD, director, Radiation Oncology Services Program, National Cancer Institute
  • Steven Rosenberg, MD, PhD, chief of Surgery, National Cancer Institute; professor of Surgery, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • George Klein, MD, PhD, professor emeritus and research group leader, Microbiology and Tumor Biology Center, Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Kathleen M. Foley, MD, attending neurologist, Pain and Palliative Care Service, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; professor, Neurology, Neuroscience and Clinical Pharmacology, Weill Medical College, Cornell University (New York)
  • Bruce A. Chabner, MD, professor, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; director, clinical research, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, associate professor, Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School
  • Eric S. Lander, associate professor of medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, senior associate member, Broad Institute
  • Carol Greider, PhD, Daniel Nathans Professor and Director, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Biology

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