Jennifer Doudna Wins the Inaugural $250,000 Kimberly Prize in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the Simpson Querrey Institute for Epigenetics announced that Nobel Laureate Jennifer Doudna is the recipient of the inaugural $250,000 Kimberly Prize in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics.  Dr. Doudna was selected for her fundamental biochemical studies on tools for genome editing and the application of her work to biology and medicine.

The new award, given by Kimberly Querrey in honor of her late husband, Lou Simpson, a Northwestern University trustee, alumnus, and benefactor, is the largest biochemistry award offered in the U.S. It will be awarded annually to a scientist who has made outstanding biochemical research contributions to the molecular basis of life with a direct demonstrated link of their discovery into the clinic that improves human health. Professor Doudna’s collaboration with Emmanuelle Charpentier on the groundbreaking development of genome-engineering technology earned them the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and forever changed the course of human and agricultural genomics research.

“Centuries from today, people will remember discoveries by Darwin, Curie, Einstein, Watson and Crick, and Doudna. Her findings and impact on humanity are of that caliber,” said Ali Shilatifard, director of the department of biochemistry and molecular genetics at Feinberg and director of Northwestern’s Simpson Querrey Institute for Epigenetics.

“I am honored to be the inaugural recipient of this prestigious award,” Dr. Doudna said. “By establishing this prize, Northwestern University is underscoring the importance of supporting fundamental research for the betterment of society.”

Dr. Doudna holds the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair and is a professor of molecular and cell biology and of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. She joined the faculty there 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.

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