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Elizabeth Blackburn, 2000-06-01

 Item — Box: AV05, Hi8: CSHL1217
Oral History | Elizabeth Blackburn
Oral History | Elizabeth Blackburn

Scope and Contents

Elizabeth Blackburn remembers details of her conversations with Barbara McClintock, meetings and symposia at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and the changes in those meetings over time. She comments on Jim Watson's and Alexander Olivnikov's papers and contributions to the study of lambda phage DNA, and on her mentoring of scientist Carol Greider. Elizabeth Blackburn discusses the following in her interview: Scene 1. Barbara McClintock -- Scene 2. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: a stimulating environment -- Scene 3. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory: changes over time -- Scene 4. Publishing science: journals vs. symposium volumes -- Scene 5. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Symposium volumes -- Scene 6. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory meetings: unique aspects -- Scene 7. Replicating ends of lambda phage DNA: Watson and Olovnikov papers -- Scene 8. Mentoring: Carol Greider.


  • Creation: 2000-06-01


Conditions Governing Access

Portions of this collection have been digitized and are available online: Select tapes have been digitized thanks to support from CLIR Recordings at Risk Grant awarded in 2021, these tapes are available for research online via our Oral History Website and in person at CSHL Archives. Please contact CSHL Archives with any questions regarding availability.

Biographical / Historical

Elizabeth Blackburn is a leader in the study of telomere function and biology. She earned her B.Sc. (1970) and M.Sc. (1972) degrees from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and her Ph.D. (1975) from the University of Cambridge in England. She did her postdoctoral work in molecular and cellular biology at Yale from 1975 to 1977. Blackburn is currently a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, and a former faculty member in the Program in Biological Sciences and Biomedical Sciences at UCSF as well as a former Non-Resident Fellow of the Salk Institute (2001-2016). Blackburn discovered the ribonucleprotein enzyme, telomerase, and currently researches the effect that the manipulation of telomerase activity has on cells. Her laboratory work intends to elucidate the biology of telomerase and telomere.She attended her first meeting at CSHL in the late 1970s and has organized Telomeres and Telomerase meetings at the Lab. Blackburn was a mentor to former Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientist, Dr. Carol W. Greider. Blackburn is an elected Fellow to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1991), the Royal Society of London (1992), and the American Academy of Microbiology (1993). She is a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences (1993) and Past-President of the American Society for Cell Biology (1998).


1 Cassettes (Camcorder Footage) : Hi-8 - CSHL1217, VHS

1 Optical Disks (Talking Science with Elizabeth Blackburn) : DVD ; 19 min

2 VHS : Elizabeth Blackburn [0:28:57] BLACKBURN_ELIZABETH_2000_01; Elizabeth Blackburn [0:49:36] BLACKBURN_ELIZABETH_2000_02

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Interview recorded on Hi-8, then transferred to DVD, VHS digitized in 2021 by CLIR RAR Grant.

Repository Details

Part of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives Repository

Library & Archives
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
One Bungtown Rd
Cold Spring Harbor NY 11724 USA