Biologist Carol Greider elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

Carol Greider
Carol Greider (Photo by C. Lagattuta)

Carol Greider, distinguished professor of molecular, cell, and developmental biology at UC Santa Cruz, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated “a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.” Election to NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors.

Greider shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her pioneering work on telomeres, critical structures that maintain the ends of chromosomes, and the discovery of telomerase, the enzyme that maintains telomere length. Telomeres are stretches of repetitive DNA at the ends of chromosomes, and telomere shortening is associated with aging and disease. Greider studies the roles that telomeres and telomerase play in cancer and age-related degenerative diseases.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, which she shared with Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak, Greider was awarded the 2006 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. She earned her B.A. in biology from the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara and her Ph.D. in molecular biology at UC Berkeley.