Jennifer Doudna

Jennifer Doudna was part of inventing a potentially world-changing genetic technology: the gene editing technology CRISPR-Cas9.

Why you should listen

Together with her colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier of Umeå University in Sweden, Berkeley biologist Jennifer Doudna is at the center of one of today's most-discussed science discoveries: a technology called CRISPR-Cas9 that allows human genome editing by adding or removing genetic material at will. This enables fighting genetic diseases (cutting out HIV, altering cancer cells) as well as, potentially, opening the road to "engineered humans."

Because some applications of genetic manipulation can be inherited, Doudna and numerous colleagues have called for prudent use of the technology until the ethics and safety have been properly considered.

Doudna is the co-winner of the 2018 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience, along with Emmanuelle Charpentier and Virginijus Šikšnys.

Jennifer Doudna’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Jennifer Doudna