Doudna, Jennifer 2018 Chemical Sciences

Doudna, Jennifer 2018 Chemical Sciences

Jennifer A. Doudna, Principal Investigator at University of California, Berkeley, received the 2018 NAS Award in Chemical Sciences.

Following pioneering discoveries on how RNA can fold to function in complex ways, Doudna, along with Emmanuelle Charpentier, invented the technology for efficient site-specific genome engineering using the CRISPR/Cas9 nucleases for genome editing — a breakthrough technology which has had an immediate and wide impact on all areas of both basic and applied life sciences.

CRISPR genome editing allows precise changing of the DNA code in human cells, as well as in those of other multicellular organisms. It has the potential to create new defenses against human viruses or to correct mutated human genes and provides methods to reshape the biosphere for the benefit of the environment and human societies. CRISPR genome editing has already been adopted by tens of thousands of laboratories around the world, where it has enabled and stimulated diverse experiments that were never before simple to conduct or possible to conceive.

The NAS Award in Chemical Sciences is presented annually to honor innovative research in the chemical sciences that contributes to a better understanding of the natural sciences and to the benefit of humanity. The NAS Award in Chemical Sciences was established in 1978 and supported by Occidental Petroleum Corporation from 1978 to 1996. The Merck Company Foundation assumed sponsorship in 1999. The award is presented with a medal and a $15,000 prize.


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