Jennifer Anne Doudna shortly named Jennifer Doudna is an American biochemist. She is famous for her pioneering work in CRISPR gene editing, for which she was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Emmanuelle Charpentier. She co-founded and serves on the advisory panel of multiple companies that use CRISPR technology in unique ways, including Inari, Synthego, Mammoth Biosciences, and Caribou Biosciences. She has been an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) since 1997, and since 2018 she holds the position of the senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes. She is a Li Ka Shing Chancellor Chair Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. She has been named one of the Time 100 most influential people in 2015 (with Charpentier), and she was listed as a runner-up for Time Person of the Year in 2016 alongside other CRISPR researchers.
Pioneers of revolutionary CRISPR gene editing, Jennifer Doudna win chemistry Nobel along with Emmanuelle Charpentier
Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna share the award for developing the precise genome-editing technology. Two scientists who pioneered the revolutionary gene-editing technology are the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The Nobel Committee’s selection of Emmanuelle Charpentier, now at the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin, and Jennifer Doudna, at the University of California, Berkeley, puts an end to years of speculation about who would be recognized for their work developing the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tools. The technology allows precise edits to the genome and has swept through laboratories worldwide since its inception in the 2010s. It has countless applications: researchers hope to use it to alter human genes to eliminate diseases; create hardier plants; wipe out pathogens and more. Doudna was “really sound asleep” when her buzzing phone woke her and she took a call from a Nature reporter, who broke the news. “I grew up in a small town in Hawaii and I never in 100 million years would have imagined this happening,” says Doudna. “I’m really stunned, I’m just completely in shock”.
- Being an American biochemist.
- For her pioneering work in CRISPR gene editing.
- Being the recipient of Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Alan T. Waterman Award, Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award, Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, and more.
What is the Birthplace of Jennifer Doudna?
On 19th February 1964, Jennifer Doudna was born in Washington D.C., the USA. Her hometown is in Hilo, Hawaii. Her real name/full name is Jennifer Anne Doudna. She holds an American nationality and her ethnicity is American-White. Her race is White. As of 2020, she celebrated her 56th birthday. She was born to her parents; Dorothy Jane (Williams) (mother) and Martin Kirk Doudna (father). Her father received his Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Michigan, and her mother, a stay-at-home parent, held a master’s degree in education. When she was seven years old, the family moved to Hawaii because her father accepted a position in American literature at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Her mother earned a second master’s degree in Asian history from the university and taught history at a local community college. Her zodiac sign is Pisces and her religion is Christian.
When she was in school, she developed her interest in science and mathematics. When she was in the sixth grade, he gave her a copy of James Watson’s 1968 book on the discovery of the structure of DNA, “The Double Helix”. While she attended Hilo High School, she was influenced by Miss Wong, a chemistry teacher. She graduated from Hilo High School in the year 1981. After high school, she entered Pomona College in Claremont, California, to study biochemistry. She started her first scientific research in the lab of professor Sharon Panasenko. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry in the year 1985. She chose Harvard Medical School for her doctoral study and earned a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology in the year 1989. From the year 1991 to 1994, she was Lucille P. Markey Postdoctoral Scholar in Biomedical Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she worked with Thomas Cech.
How was the Career of Jennifer Doudna?
- Regarding Jennifer Doudna’s career, she began her scientific career by working to uncover the structure and biological function of RNA enzymes or ribozymes.
- Later, she re-engineered the self-splicing Tetrahymena Group I catalytic intron into a true catalytic ribozyme that copied RNA templates.
- After that, she went to the lab of Thomas Cech at the University of Colorado Boulder to crystallize and determine the three-dimensional structure of a ribozyme for the first time, so ribozyme structure could be compared with that of enzymes, the catalytic proteins.
- In the year 1991, she began her project in the Cech lab and then finished at Yale University in the year 1996.
- She next joined Yale’s Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry as an assistant professor in the year 1994.
- There, her group was able to crystallize and solve the three-dimensional structure of the catalytic core of the Tetrahymena Group I ribozyme.
- One of her early graduate students and later her husband, Jamie Cate, decided to soak the crystals in the heavy metal derivative, osmium hexamine to imitate magnesium and using this strategy, they were able to solve the structure, the first solved ribozyme structure and the second solved folded RNA structure (the first being tRNA).
- In the year 2000, she was promoted to the position of Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale.
- She was Robert Burns Woodward Visiting Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University in the year between 2000 and 2001.
- She accepted a faculty position at the University of California, Berkeley, as a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, joining her husband Jamie Cate who was a professor there. It was in the year 2002.
- She took a leave of absence from Berkeley to work at Genentech to lead discovery research in the year 2009 but left after two months.
- At present, she located at the University of California, Berkeley, where she directs the Innovative Genomics Institute (a joint center of UC Berkeley and the University of California, San Francisco), holds the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Professorship in Biomedicine and Health and is the chair of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Biology.
- Whereas her lab now focuses on obtaining a mechanistic understanding of biological processes involving RNA which is divided into three major areas, the CRISPR system, RNA interference, and translational control via MicroRNAs.
- Later, she along with her colleagues made a new discovery that reduces the time and work needed to edit genomic DNA in the year 2012.
- She gave a TED Talk about the bioethics of using CRISPR in the year 2015.
- The CRISPR system created a new straightforward way to edit DNA and there was a rush to patent the technique.
- She has co-founded Caribou, a company to commercialize CRISPR technology.
- She is also a co-founder of Scribe Therapeutics which pioneered CasX, a more compact, next-generation Cas9 that can efficiently cut DNA.
- Additionally, she has discovered that the hepatitis C virus utilizes an unusual strategy to synthesize viral proteins.
- She co-founded Mammoth Biosciences in the year 2017 which is a San Francisco-based bioengineering tech startup. Initial funding raised $23 million, with a series B round of funding in 2020 raising $45 million which is focused on improving access to biosensing tests which address “challenges across healthcare, agriculture, environmental monitoring, biodefense, and more”.
- At present, she is leading a COVID-19 testing center that processes more than 1000 patient samples per day.
- Mammoth Biosciences announced a peer-reviewed validation of a rapid, CRISPR-based point of need COVID-19 diagnostic which is faster and less expensive than qRT-PCR based tests.
Jennifer Doudna’s Awards and Achievements
Jennifer Doudna is an award-winning woman and she has received many awards till now. She received the 1996 Beckman Young Investigators Award. Additionally, she was awarded the Alan T. Waterman Award, the National Science Foundation’s highest honor that annually recognizes an outstanding researcher under the age of 35, for her structure determination of a ribozyme in the year 2000. She next received the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry of the American Chemical Society in the year 2001. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2002, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003, the National Academy of Medicine in 2010, and the National Academy of Inventors in 2014. She received the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for her contributions to CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology in the year 2015. She received the Canada Gairdner International Award in the year 2016 along with the Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics in the same year. Not only this but also she has also been a co-recipient of the Gruber Prize in Genetics (2015), the Tang Prize (2016), the Japan Prize, and the Albany Medical Center Prize (2017). In the year 2017, she was awarded the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement. In the year 2018, she was awarded the NAS Award in Chemical Sciences, the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize from the Rockefeller University, and a Medal of Honor from the American Cancer Society. In the year 2019, she received the Harvey Prize of the Technion/Israel for the year 2018 (jointly with Emmanuelle Charpentier and Feng Zhang) and the LUI Che Woo Prize in the category of Welfare Betterment. Recently, she received the Wolf Prize in Medicine (jointly with Emmanuelle Charpentier) in the year 2020. Also in the same year, Doudna and Charpentier were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2020.
Who is Jennifer Doudna Married to?
Jennifer Doudna is a married woman. She is married to her handsome husband, Jamie Cate. As a postdoctoral student at the University of Colorado Doudna met Jamie Cate, then a graduate student; they worked together on the project to crystallize and determine the structure of the Tetrahymena Group I intron P4-P6 catalytic region. They married when she was teaching at Yale, and they both accepted faculty positions at UC Berkeley and moved there. Regarding her husband’s profession, he is currently a UC Berkeley professor and works on gene-editing yeast to increase their cellulose fermentation for biofuel production. The duo is also blessed with a son named Andrew in the year 2003. Doudna sees her son as her ‘biggest experiment’. As of today, the couple is enjoying their present life happily without any disturbances. Her sexual orientation is straight.
How much is Jennifer Doudna’s Net Worth?
A leader in the CRISPR revolution, Jennifer Doudna co-invented with Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier the ability to edit DNA in all organisms using the CRISPR-Cas9 protein. As of 2020, the exact details about her net worth are still to get unfold yet but there is no doubt in the mind of her followers that she is having a net worth and salary in millions. Her major source of wealth comes from a biochemist career. She is enjoying her present life a lot and she is living a cool lifestyle with her career earnings.
How tall is Jennifer Doudna?
Jennifer Doudna is a very beautiful woman with a sweet smile on her face. She has got a very glowing face with a slim body build. She stands tall at the perfect height matching with his body weight. Her eye color is light brown and her hair color is salt and pepper. She maintains her body a lot and at present, she has got a healthy body. Her other body details such as waist size, bra size, shoe size, dress size, and more are still to get revealed yet.
Did You Know?
- Jennifer Doudna co-founded and serves on the advisory panel of multiple companies that use CRISPR technology in unique ways, including Inari, Synthego, Mammoth Biosciences and Caribou Biosciences.
- She has been an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) since 1997, and since 2018 she holds the position of senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes.
- Recently, in 2020, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna share the award for developing the precise genome-editing technology.
- Her hometown is in Hilo, Hawaii.
- At present, she is leading a COVID-19 testing center which processes more than 1000 patient samples per day.