Professor Elizabeth Blackburn, Honorary Fellow of Jesus College, received the Degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, at Encaenia, the University's annual honorary degree ceremony, on Wednesday 29 June 2011.

Professor Blackburn, AC, BSc MSc Melbourne, PhD Camb, is the Morris Herzstein Professor of Biology and Physiology at the University of California - San Francisco. Her discovery in 1978 of telomerase, an enzyme critical to the reproductive process of gene cells, enhanced the understanding of DNA on the part of molecular biologists around the world. In 2009 she was jointly awarded, with Carol Greider and Jack Szostak, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and she has won awards including the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award, the American National Academy of Science’s Molecular Biology Award, and was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most influential People in 2007. She was appointed a member of the American President's Council on Bioethics in 2001, supporting human embryonic cell research in opposition to the Bush Administration.

Further information about this year's honorands and a short video about the cermony can be found on the News pages of the University's website.