Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D. photo

Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D.

Professor, University of California, Berkeley

Jennifer Doudna studies the “secrets of RNA”, the molecules that carry out the work of DNA.  Her groundbreaking research has yielded the Clustered Regularly Interspaces Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) technology, which uses RNA like genetic “scissors" to precisely cut DNA so that mutations in cells and tissues can be repaired in ways previously impossible.  In 2014, the Foundation for the NIH awarded Dr. Doudna with the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences.

Raised in Hawaii, she did her graduate work at Harvard University.  She also worked at the University of Colorado with Dr. Thomas R. Cech, who shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work with RNA.  Doudna’s other accomplishments include determining the three-dimensional structure of a ribozyme for the first time. 

Dr. Jennifer Doudna is a member of the departments of Molecular and Cell Biology and Chemistry at UC Berkeley, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, along with the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“America has made big scientific breakthroughs for decades because federal funding allows scientists to pursue research that businesses would not fund because they have no immediate commercial application.  Breakthroughs from federally-funded, curiosity-driven research have created not only new businesses, but entire new industries.”

Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D.

Professor, University of California, Berkeley

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