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Wednesday’s Women in STEM: Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna, two amazing women in science, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020 “for the development of a method for genome editing.” Their co-development of CRISPR-Cas9 revolutionizes medicine because of its groundbreaking power and wide-ranging uses. Doudna is an accomplished scientist: she is a biochemist at Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also president and chair of the board of the Innovative Genomics Institute, a faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes, and an adjunct professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at University of California, San Francisco. Charpentier was affiliated with the University of Vienna and Umeå University in Sweden and later became the director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology. Doudna was the first woman UC Berkeley faculty to win the award. This was only the fourth time that a Nobel in the sciences was given exclusively to women, and it was the first time that an all-female team won a Nobel Prize in the sciences together. Marie Curie won the chemistry award in 1911 alone, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin won the chemistry award alone in 1964, and Barbara McClintock won the Nobel in medicine alone. The extraordinary accomplishments of these two women shows the potential women have in science. Doudna even said, “Many women think that, no matter what they do, their work will never be recognized the way it would be if they were a man, and I think [this prize] refutes that. It makes a strong statement that women can do science, women can do chemistry, and that great science is recognized and honored.”

BY: Richa Kuklani Sources: or-chemistry

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