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Nobel Media and AstraZeneca bring Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn to Korea


Nobel Media AB, the company responsible for managing and developing media rights in connection with the Nobel Prize and AstraZeneca, a global innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company, will bring Professor Elizabeth Helen Blackburn, the 2009 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, to Catholic University and Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea on 1-2 November. The aim of the visit is to increase interest in the Nobel Prize awarded achievements within the fields of Physiology or Medicine and inspire the students and researchers in Korea. The initiative in Korea consists of various educational events including lectures at universities on Professor Blackburn’s research on telomeres and telomerase.

Professor Blackburn was jointly awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak “for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase”. They have solved a major problem in biology: how chromosomes are completely copied during cell division and how they are protected against degradation. The Nobel Laureates have shown that the solution is to be found at the ends of the chromosomes – the telomeres – and the enzyme that forms them – telomerase.

During her visit, Professor Elizabeth Blackburn will deliver lectures at both the Catholic University and the Seoul National University. At the Catholic University, Professor Blackburn will give a lecture entitled “Cancer and Responses to Perturbing Telomere Maintenance.” And at the Seoul National University, she will speak about “Telomeres and Telomerase: their implications for human health and disease.” Following the lectures, students and faculty will have the unique opportunity to interact directly with the Nobel Laureate, through round table discussions and student interviews.

The AstraZeneca Nobel Medicine Initiative is a global collaboration platform that brings the inspiring achievements of Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine to the attention of a worldwide audience. The initiative has conducted similar events in China, India, Europe, and the US. The goal of the initiative is to inspire the scientific community as well as the public by sharing information on Nobel Prize-awarded achievements and demonstrating how such discoveries are critical to advancing our understanding of how the human body works.

Speaking about her visit, Professor Blackburn said, “I am excited to participate in the first AstraZeneca Nobel Medicine Initiative event in South Korea, and I especially look forward to interacting with students and researchers at both the Catholic University and Seoul National University. My lectures will focus on my Nobel Prize award-winning work on telomeres and telomerase and their implications for human health and disease. I hope there will be very stimulating conversations around this topic!”

Nobel Media, as the co-organizer of the AstraZeneca Nobel Medicine Initiative event, plays a vital role in spreading knowledge about Nobel Prize achievements through broadcast and digital media, events, and publishing worldwide. Ms. Camilla Hyltén-Cavallius, CEO of Nobel Media, commented,”We are happy to make possible this exciting lecture event in South Korea with Nobel Laureate Professor Blackburn. As she tells her inspiring story about the work which led to the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, we are confident that the students will take the opportunity to engage and learn from their discussions with her.”

Sang Jin Pak, President of AstraZeneca Korea said, “We are pleased to collaborate with Nobel Media on this initiative. We already know that Korea has outstanding potential talent in medical science through our programs such as the Virtual Research Institute Project, which supports Korean scientist who do basic science research, and the Oncology Fellowship, which invests in Korean oncology researchers. The AstraZeneca Nobel Media Initiative provides an excellent education platform for young scientists to learn from Nobel Laureates like Professor Blackburn. I hope it will motivate them to further enhance their efforts in innovation and research and allow them to play a central role in the advancement of scientific research in Korea.”

About Nobel Laureate, Elizabeth Blackburn

Elizabeth Blackburn shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, together with Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak for the discovering the “how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase”. She received her PhD in 1975 from the University of Cambridge, England, and was a postdoctoral researcher at Yale University, New Haven, USA. She was a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 1990, she has been a professor of biology and physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, US. She also worked in medical ethics, and was controversially dismissed from the President’s Council on Bioethics.

About Nobel Media AB

Nobel Media AB aims to spread knowledge and interest in the Nobel Prize awarded achievements to a global audience, through digital and broadcast media, publishing and events. Included in Nobel Media’s portfolio is, the official web site of the Nobel Prize, which currently receives over 45 million visitors. Production of official television programmes consists of The Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo, The Nobel Banquet, Nobel Documentaries, Nobel Minds, Nobel Laureates and the Nobel Prize Concert. Through these programmes, over 250 million viewers are reached all over the world. For more information please visit:

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Disclaimer: Nobel Media AB is not directly nor indirectly involved in the process of nominating or selecting Nobel Laureates. These procedures are strictly confidential and regulated by the Nobel Prize awarding institutions.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:


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