Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded to female duo Charpentier, Doudna
The two scientists Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing the tools to edit DNA.
“Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A Doudna have discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement on Wednesday on awarding the 10 million Swedish crown ($1.1m) prize.
Charpentier, who is French, and Doudna, an American, become not only the sixth and seventh women to win a Nobel Prize for chemistry, but the first two women to share the prize, which honors their work on the technology of genome editing.
Their discovery, known as Crispr-Cas9 “genetic scissors”, is a way of making specific and precise changes to the DNA contained in living cells.
“This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.” There is enormous power in this genetic tool, which affects us all,” said Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.
On being one of the first two women to share the prize, Prof Charpentier said: “I wish that this will provide a positive message specifically for young girls who would like to follow the path of science… and to show them that women in science can also have an impact with the research they are performing.”
“This is not just for women, but we see a clear lack of interest in following a scientific path, which is very worrying,” Prof Charpentier added.