I have been working in the telomere field for over 30 years. In 1984, working together with Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, I discovered telomerase, the enzyme that elongates telomeres. My lab has continued to study the biochemistry and regulation of telomerase as well as the consequences of telomere shortening in normal and cancer cells. We have developed and extensively characterized telomerase null mice and have used these mice to probe the role of short telomeres in both cancer and age-related degenerative disease. We are currently studying the fundamental molecular mechanism that establishes the telomere length equilibrium and how perturbation of this equilibrium leads to telomere elongation in cancer and telomere shortening in human short telomere syndromes. I have had the privilege to train 18 PhD students and 22 postdoctoral fellows, many who have gone on to accomplished careers in academia, teaching, biotech, science writing and government service. My lab currently has 4 four PhD students, one Postdoctoral Fellow and one senior research staff.