The discoverer of telomerase, Elizabeth Blackburn, and Joan Steitz, known for identifying small ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and elucidating their role in DNA transcription, were awarded the $500,000 Albany Medical Center Prize today (May 2). They are the first women to receive the prize, which has been awarded since the year 2000. Blackburn, at the University of California, San Francisco, was recognized for her work on telomeres with the 2006 linkurl:Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research; along with her colleagues, Jack Szostak and Carol Greider. Her life and work on "the bookends" of chromosomes has been chronicled in a recent linkurl:book; by Catherine Brady. Steitz, at Yale University, an linkurl:HHMI investigator; and the first woman to work in James Watson's lab, discovered that snRNPs are responsible for splicing pre-mRNA into translation-ready mRNAs. Steitz has continued working on snRNPs, focusing now on how RNA from herpesviruses combines with host proteins to form snRNPs....

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