Emmanuelle Charpentier


Emmanuelle Charpentier preliminary portrait

© Nobel Prize Outreach. Photo: Bernhard Ludewig

Emmanuelle Charpentier
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020

Born: 11 December 1968, Juvisy-sur-Orge, France

Affiliation at the time of the award: Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany

Prize motivation: "for the development of a method for genome editing."

Prize share: 1/2


The life processes of organisms are controlled by genes made up of sections of DNA. In 2012, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna developed a methodology for high precision changes to genes. They used the immune defenses of bacteria, which disable viruses by cutting their DNA up with a type of genetic scissors. By extracting and simplifying the gene scissors’ molecular components, they were able to make a tool that could be used to cut any DNA molecule at a predetermined site. The CRISPR/Cas9 gene scissors can lead to new scientific discoveries, better crops and new weapons in the fight against cancer and genetic diseases.

To cite this section
MLA style: Emmanuelle Charpentier – Facts – 2020. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2022. Wed. 19 Jan 2022. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/2020/charpentier/facts/>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.