Press release: Nobel laureate Elizabeth Blackburn and Stefanie Dimmeler join Berlin Institute of Health Scientific Advisory Board

Two further internationally renowned scientists have been selected to join the BIH Scientific Advisory Board as of December 2016: Nobel laureate Prof. Elizabeth Blackburn, president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, and Prof. Stefanie Dimmeler, director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Regeneration, Centre for Molecular Medicine (Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main). They bring specialist expertise in stem cell technology, regenerative medicine, genetic and biochemical mechanisms of aging, cardiovascular and vascular research to the advisory board.  

Molecular biologist Prof. Elizabeth Blackburn discovered the enzyme telomerase in single-cell ciliate Tetrahymena in 1984 together with her then PhD student Carol W. Greider. This enzyme plays a key role in the regulation of aging processes and is also relevant for cancer research, as certain cancer cells require telomerase activity for their growth. Prof. Blackburn has been president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla since 2016. She has received numerous honors and awards for her work, including the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 2006 and, together with Carol W. Greider, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize in 2009. In the same year, the two researchers were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine together with UK biologist Jack Szostak.  

Prof. Stefanie Dimmeler, an expert for regenerative therapies, has been director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Regeneration, Centre for Molecular Medicine at the Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, since 2008. Her areas of research include vascularization mechanisms and cardiovascular regeneration, the role of non-coding RNA molecules in the regeneration and disease of blood vessels and the development of cell therapy techniques. Dimmeler served on the German Ethics Council from 2008 to 2012 and has received many research awards, including the renowned Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize awarded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Ernst Jung Prize for Medicine. 

The Scientific Advisory Board advises the BIH Executive Board and Supervisory Board on the strategic planning, implementation, development and evaluation of the BIH research program. Members are appointed by the Supervisory Board for a term of four years. The Scientific Advisory Board has 14 members.