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Elizabeth Blackburn

Nobel Prize in Medicine

Elizabeth Blackburn: I was a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and we have a graduate research program. A graduate program, students come to the program to do their Ph.D. work, which means doing research in molecular biology. So the program attracts terrific students, and one of them was Carol, and then the students choose a lab and a project that they'll do research in, and I had the great good fortune that Carol chose to work in my lab.

Carol Greider: I remember the day that we actually met. It was during the interviews when I was interviewing for graduate schools, and I guess at Berkeley I had actually been accepted, and then I went around to talk to professors, just to decide whether I wanted to go there or not. And I had a great time in my conversation with Liz, and she was just very excited about what she was doing, and I was having such a great time talking to her, that the time went by so fast and I really wanted to know more. I remember I asked you if I could come back and talk a little bit more, because I was staying just up the road in Davis. And then, between when I came back and when I'd left, my father had a heart attack and ended up in the hospital, but I did everything I could to come down, because I was going to go back and talk to you some more. And that was sort of the thing that clinched for me that what I wanted to do was to go to Berkeley and to work in Liz's lab. Typically, one goes to a university and then chooses a lab once you go there, but that was my goal after meeting her.
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Elizabeth Blackburn

Nobel Prize in Medicine

Elizabeth Blackburn: I think I was very lucky, because I knew I was interested in living things from -- very, very young. I grew up in Australia and I would -- my mother tells me this, you know, I have no direct recollection -- but I remember I would pick up little poisonous ants and poisonous jellyfish. There are a lot of poisonous creatures in Australia, and I would pick them up and sort of pet them, and I'd really like them. I was interested in them, and of course this was horrifying for my mother, who was a physician who could see the stinging and the potential biting that would take place, but I seemed to have lucked out. I never got bit by any of these. And I think I have just known for a long time I was fascinated by living things, so I loved animals. And then in high school, as I started learning about what's in living things, I got very fascinated by what was then called biochemistry. Protein chemistry was something that was the field then, and I got fascinated by -- what are the building blocks of living things -- cells and molecules.
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David Boies

Counselor and Human Rights Advocate

David Boies: I think that cases are, in some senses, are a little like children. I have six children. It's hard to say which one I'm most proud of. But I think that certainly the marriage equality cases are cases that I am enormously proud of. I think that we have in those cases contributed to a really important change in this country. The cases that I've done in the area of racial equality as a young lawyer working in Mississippi, and then later on I successfully sued the Republican National Committee on behalf of the Democratic National Committee in 1986, I think it was, to stop the RNC from targeting black and minority districts with voter ID, voter security kinds of tactics. That litigation I'm pretty proud of. I'm proud of the Microsoft case. That was, I think, important, a challenging case. I'm certainly proud of the Westmoreland CBS libel case. I think that was very important in terms of establishing and confirming freedom of the press and the ability of the press to engage in very direct, hostile criticism of government action.
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Norman Borlaug

Ending World Hunger

So I went over to see Dr. Stakman, who I had only met once about three weeks before the end of the term when I saw that this Dr. Stakman, a world famous plant pathologist, was giving a lecture on these shifty little enemies the fungi -- rust fungi -- that destroy our crops. So I went to hear this and he was one of the old storied professors. He'd move into a history of background of parasiticum, of the rust fungi, other fungi that were dangerous from the standpoint of our cereal crop, and I was fascinated. And I said as I left that room in mid-December of 1937, "If I ever have a chance to study in graduate school, I want to study under a person like this."
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