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Maria A. Blasco is a molecular biologist devoted to the study of telomeres and telomerase and their role in cancer and aging. Since 2011, she is also the Director of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid.  Among other awards, Blasco has received the Josef Steiner Cancer Research Award, the Körber European Science Award, the  EMBO Gold Medal, and the National Science Award Santiago Ramón y Cajal. In 2014 received a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, Spain.