Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna become the first all-female recipients of Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Emmanuelle Charpentier, a French microbiologist of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Germany, and Jennifer Doudna, an American biochemist of the University of California, are the sixth and seventh women to win the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery and development of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing.
They are also the first women in history to have been jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Charpentier and Doudna’s discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors means researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision. This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may aid in curing inherited diseases.
CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors also enhances the possibilities of changing DNA over the course of a few weeks: an advancement which shortens what was once a time-consuming, difficult and sometimes impossible work.
Scientist Charpentier said she hoped her win would be a “positive message to the young girls who would like to follow the path of science”. Adding that she hoped both her and colleague showed “them that women in science can also have an impact through the research that they are performing.”