Jennifer Doudna

Nobel Laureate, biochemist
The founder of the Innovative Genomics Institute, Jennifer Doudna earned the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work developing the groundbreaking genome-engineering technology CRISPR-Cas9.

Why you should listen

Growing up roaming the rainforests of Hawaii, Jennifer Doudna developed an early curiosity about how the living world works. This interest would lead to a PhD in biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology from Harvard and an esteemed research career focusing primarily on RNA. In 2002, she joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where she remains a professor and researcher. A fellow Berkeley professor, Jillian Banfield, came to her with a puzzle: an unusual repeating pattern found in microbial DNA called "CRISPR."

Together with her collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, Doudna is at the center of one of today’s most-discussed scientific discoveries: a technology called CRISPR-Cas9 that enables genome editing in any living cell. This monumental contribution to science earned the two the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and forever changed the course of human and agricultural genomics research. In 2017, Doudna coauthored A Crack in Creation, a reflection on the responsibility of such a discovery, and she continues to lead public discussion on the ethical implications of genome editing.

Jennifer Doudna’s TED talks

More news and ideas from Jennifer Doudna

Live from TED2023

Off with a bang: Notes on Session 1 of TED2023

April 18, 2023

It’s time for TED! In an eclectic and interdisciplinary opening session, artists, scientists, activists, entrepreneurs and more explored the breadth of transformative possibilities that lie ahead of us, from understanding animal communication to breakthroughs in artificial intelligence to the theory of the “adjacent possible.” The event: Talks from Session 1 of TED2023: Possibility, hosted by […]

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