Jump to content
Laureates / 

Jennifer A. Doudna

Jennifer A.

Jennifer A. Doudna (Photo credit: Peter Bagde).

Jennifer Doudna is an American biochemist. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry at Pomona College, California, in 1985, before moving to Harvard University where she obtained her PhD in 1989.

After several postdoctoral positions she moved to Yale in 1994, where she would remain until 2000, leading a team that focused on solving the three-dimensional structure of RNA ribozymes.

After two more years at Harvard she moved to Berkeley as Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, where her research focused on understanding RNA functions via structural and biological methods. While at Berkeley she began a collaboration with Emmanuelle Charpentier. Their work led to a milestone publication in 2012 that marked the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 system as a simple gene-editing tool.

Doudna is still based at the University of California, Berkeley where she is a professor of chemistry and of molecular and cell biology, and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her work, including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Gruber Genetics Prize and the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize.

Two years after sharing the 2018 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience for her work with CRISPR-based genome editing, she received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this scientific breakthrough.

Jennifer A. Doudna life story

Jennifer A. Doudna on stage at the ceremony in Oslo (Photo credit: Thomas Eckhoff).

A schematic representation of the CRISPR-Cas9 system. The Cas9 enzyme (orange) cuts the DNA (blue) in the location selected by the RNA (red). (Photo credit: CARLOS CLARIVAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/NTB Scanpix)

Read the life story of Kavli Prize Laureate Jennifer A. Doudna – in her own words:

Science is a Wonderful Career


2018 Kavli Prize Winners - NANOSCIENCE: Doudna, Charpentier and Siksnys

Jennifer Doudna Ponders CRISPR Technology

The CRISPR Revolution: The 2018 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience