Two Women Scholars to Share the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Dr. Doudna

Over the past several years, Jennifer Doudna, a professor of molecular and cell biology and of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and Emmanuelle Charpentier, director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany, have won numerous awards for their pioneering work harnessing an ancient mechanism of bacterial immunity into a powerful and general technology for editing genomes, with wide-ranging implications across biology and medicine.

Dr. Charpentier

Now, these two celebrated scholars have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The academy stated that Professors Doudna and Charpentier “discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants, and microorganisms with extremely high precision. This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.”

Dr. Doudna joined the faculty at the University of California Berkeley in 2002. Earlier, she had taught at Yale University. Professor Doudna is a graduate of Pomona College in Claremont, California. She holds a Ph.D. in biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology from Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Charpentier studied biochemistry and microbiology at the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, France, and obtained a Ph.D. in microbiology at the Pasteur Institute, also in Paris.

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