The three winners are Elizabeth H. Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, Carol W. Greider of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Jack W. Szostak of Massachusetts General Hospital. Only eight women have previously won the Nobel prize in Medicine or Physiology, and it is the first time any science Nobel has been awarded to more than one woman.
Marie Currie was the first woman to earn a Nobel prize in science, honoroured with Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911. See list of former women Noble Prize winners.
The Nobel winners research telomeres, the ends of chromosomes, which get shorter each time a cell divides and are key to understanding the aging process.
The study of telomeres is notable as a field of research in which female scientists are particularly prominent. Dr. Greider said she ascribed this to a “founder effect,” the founder being Dr. Joseph Gall of Yale University. Dr. Gall was very supportive of women in science, Dr. Greider said. He trained Dr. Blackburn and other women, and they recruited others to the field “because there is a slight tendency for women to work with other women,” Dr. Greider said. She herself trained with Dr. Blackburn. Anne