Competition: US & Canada
Jennifer Doudna is the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair and a Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Doudna is also the founding Executive Director of the Innovative Genomics Institute. Her co-discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 genetic engineering technology, with collaborator, French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier, has changed human, animal and agricultural research forever. This genome-editing technology enables scientists to change or remove genes quickly, with a precision only dreamed of until now. Labs worldwide have re-directed the course of their research programs to incorporate this new tool, creating a CRISPR revolution with huge implications across biology and medicine. In recognition of this work, Doudna and Charpentier shared the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Doudna is also a leader in public discussion of the ethical and other implications of genome editing for human biology and societies, and advocates for thoughtful approaches to the development of policies around the use of CRISPR-Cas9. In addition to the Nobel Prize, has received many other prizes for her discoveries, including the Breakthrough Prize (2015), Japan Prize (2016), the Kavli Prize (2018), the Wolf Prize (2020). In 2015, Doudna was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Photo Credit: Keegan Houser, UC Berkeley