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Jack W. Szostak

AKA Jack William Szostak

Born: 9-Nov-1952
Birthplace: London, England

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: First artificial chromosome

Geneticist and biochemist Jack W. Szostak was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his investigations into telomeres, the specialized DNA sequences at the tips of chromosomes. The award and $1.4M prize was shared with Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Greider. Working with Andrew Murray in 1983, Szostak developed the first artificial chromosome, and his more recent work has shown that yeast that cannot perform the ordinary telomerase reaction suffer damage to the telomeres and chromosomes over multiple generations. He has also studied the role of RNA as an enzyme in biochemical reactions, and the origin of life on the early earth.

Wife: (m., two children)

    High School: Riverdale High School, Pierrefonds QC, Canada
    University: BS Cellular Biology, McGill University (1972)
    University: PhD Biochemistry, Cornell University (1977)
    Scholar: Biochemistry, Cornell University (1977-79)
    Teacher: Biological Chemistry, Harvard Medical School (1979-84)
    Teacher: Genetics, Harvard Medical School (1984-88)
    Professor: Genetics, Harvard Medical School (1988-present)

    National Research Council of Canada 1978
    Massachusetts General Hospital (1984-present)
    National Science Foundation
    National Institutes of Health
    National Research Council
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    Chemistry and Biology Journal Editorial Board (1994-present)
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator (1998-present)
    National Academy of Sciences 1998
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    New York Academy of Sciences 1999
    National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology 1984
    Genetics Society of America Medal 2000
    Heineken Prize for Medicine 2008
    Lasker Award 2006 (with Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Greider)
    Nobel Prize for Medicine 2009 (with Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Greider)

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