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Carol Greider to be Appointed to President's Committee on the National Medal of Science - 04/11/2012

Carol Greider to be Appointed to President's Committee on the National Medal of Science

Release Date: April 11, 2012

Today President Obama announced his intention to appoint Carol Greider, Ph.D., the Daniel Nathans Professor and Director of Molecular Biology and Genetics in the Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, to the Committee on the National Medal of Science.

Greider will be part of a committee of 12 engineers and scientists appointed by the president to evaluate nominees for the award. Says President Obama, “I am honored that these talented individuals have decided to join this Administration and serve our country.  I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”

“I am truly honored to be asked to do this,” says Greider, who shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery of telomerase. “I look forward to working with others on the committee to help President Obama recognize some of our nation’s best scientists.”

The National Medal of Science was established by the 86th Congress in 1959 as a Presidential Award to be given to individuals "deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences." In 1980 Congress expanded this recognition to include the social and behavioral sciences. Since its establishment, the National Medal of Science has been awarded to 468 distinguished scientists and engineers whose careers spanned decades of research and development.

Greider has been studying telomerase, an enzyme that maintains chromosome ends, since she discovered it in 1984. Over the years she and her colleagues have uncovered what it looks like, how it functions and how it is controlled. Today, Greider continues to study its role in DNA damage and cell death. She and her colleagues developed a mouse model for telomerase deficiency that mimics the stem cell failure seen in inherited human diseases that are caused by mutations in telomerase.

“We are thrilled that President Obama has asked Carol to join this distinguished committee. Carol is a dedicated advocate of discovery-based science.  I can think of no one better suited to help our president celebrate the essential contributions of scientific discovery,” says Stephen Desiderio, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences. 

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