Professor Elizabeth Blackburn from Launceston, Tasmania is the first Australian woman to win a Nobel Prize. Her Prize for Medicine is an inspiration to Australian women in science.
Professor Blackburn’s work was responsible for identifying telomerase, the enzyme which forms a cap at the end of our chromosomes to protect them from damage. As cancers depend on telomerase for their continued growth, the work is particularly crucial to the development of treatments for cancer which block the activity of telomerase.
As well as being a Nobel laureate, Professor Blackburn has also been known for her vocal advocacy for independent thought. She is also an advocate for the promotion of women in science.