19 August 2013

Dr Elizabeth BlackburnThe University of South Australia today warmly welcomes Australia’s only female Nobel Laureate Dr Elizabeth Blackburn to Adelaide to deliver the 16th Annual Hawke Lecture to a full house of 1100 people on Wednesday evening.

Dr Blackburn’s lecture, titled ‘Living longer: a journey into the bio-future’, will be delivered ‘in conversation’ format with the ABC Science Show’s Robyn Williams at the Adelaide Town Hall.

She will describe the passion and insights that have driven her towards her celebrated scientific achievements, including being named one of the 100 most influential people in the world (Time, 2007) for research which revolutionised understanding of the key factors that attribute to ageing and human mortality.

Her research opened the door to new understanding of telomeres – the end of chromosomes – and discovery of telomerase – the replenishing enzyme that influences the human lifespan, challenging conventional thinking about the ageing process.

She has written many articles providing a stark warning about the societal costs of stress which come from the links between shortened telomeres, chronic stress and disease.

For those with scientific backgrounds and biomedical interests, Dr Blackburn will conduct a Hawke Occasional Lecture at the University on Friday which will cover new perspectives on the roles of telomeres and telomerase in human diseases and health.

The University of South Australia will also honour the international scientific contribution of Dr Blackburn by establishing a $10,000 Fellowship for early career women researchers in her name. The University Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship will be officially launched by UniSA’s Chancellor Dr Ian Gould tomorrow (Tuesday) evening.

Dr Blackburn will be present at the Fellowship launch, at which she will be conferred an Honorary Bragg Membership by the Governor of South Australia, Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce, on behalf of the Royal Institution of Australia.

Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre Executive Director Ms Elizabeth Ho says UniSA is delighted to welcome Dr Blackburn to Adelaide.

“Elizabeth Blackburn’s achievements are an inspiration for all Australian scientists and those considering a career in science, especially young women,” Ms Ho says.


Media contact: Kelly Stone office 8302 0963 mobile 0417 861 832 email Kelly.stone@unisa.edu.au

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