Elizabeth Blackburn, Nobel Prize winning molecular biologist.

The second person I got to illustrate for Penguin Random House’s Shout Out to the Girls (coming out in Feb/March 2018) was Elizabeth Blackburn.

In the mid-80s, she co-discovered telomerase, which is an enzyme associated with ageing. For this research she was awarded 2009′s Nobel Prize for Phsyiology/Medicine, along with Carol Greider and Jack Szostak. She was also appointed to, and then kicked off, the President’s Council on Bioethics – it seems George W Bush didn’t like her ethics…

Anyway, she seems like an all-round pretty cool person, and she’s still working as a scientist in the US, so go forth and be inspired 🙂

Nancy Wake, war hero.

In Feb/March next year, Penguin Random House are publishing Shout Out to the Girls: A Celebration of Awesome Australian Women, and I illustrated Nancy Wake for them. 

Here’s her wiki page for a rundown of how she worked for the French resistance and the British Special Ops during World War Two, and a link to an interview to give you a sense of who she was. There’s lots more info about her around the web, but one of the weirdest things is that she’s not really famous within Australia at all. She was the Gestapo’s most wanted in 1943 and, for a country that grounds a lot of its national identity in war, I’m pretty surprised I’d never heard of her before.