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 method for high-precision genome editing. They used the immune system of a bacterium, which disables viruses by cutting their DNA up with a type of genetic scissors. By extracting and simplifying the genetic scissors' molecular components, they made it generally applicable. The CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors can lead to new scientific discoveries, better crops and new weapons in the fight against cancer and genetic diseases.