Jennifer A. Doudna
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020
Born: 19 February 1964, Washington, DC, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
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, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier 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.
Their work and discoveries range from the Earth’s climate and our sense of touch to efforts to safeguard freedom of expression.
See them all presented here.