Jennifer Doudna Wiki – Jennifer Doudna Biography
Jennifer Anne Doudna is an American biochemist known for her pioneering work in CRISPR gene editing and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. 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. Wikipedia
Born: February 19, 1964 (age 56 years), Washington, D.C., United States
Spouse: Jamie Cate
Other academic advisors: Thomas Cech
Awards: Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, MORE
Education: Harvard Medical School (1989), Pomona College (1985)
Jennifer Doudna won the Nobel Prize in chemistry 2020
University of California, Berkeley, biochemist Jennifer Doudna won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry today and shared it with her colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier for the co-development of CRISPR-Cas9, a revolutionary genome editing breakthrough in biomedicine.
What is CRISPR
CRISPR-Cas9 allows scientists to rewrite DNA, the code of life in any organism, including human cells, with unprecedented efficiency and precision. The groundbreaking power and versatility of CRISPR-Cas9 has opened up new and far-reaching possibilities in biology, agriculture and medicine, including the treatment of thousands of challenging diseases.
Doudna and Charpentier, director of the Max Planck Institute for Infectious Biology, will share the prize, including 10 million Swedish kronor (more than $ 1 million).
“This great honor recognizes the history of CRISPR and the collaborative story of transforming it into an extremely powerful engineering technology that gives new hope and possibilities to our society. What started as a curiosity-driven fundamental exploration project has now become the groundbreaking strategy used by numerous researchers working to help improve the human condition. I encourage public discourse about the ethical uses and responsible regulations of CRISPR technology, as well as the continued support of basic science. ”
Jennifer Doudna and Charpentier Discovery
Doudna and Charpentier are known for their discovery that a gene-cutting molecule used by bacteria to kill viruses, Cas9, can be redesigned as a precise and easy-to-use gene editing tool. The CRISPR-Cas9 system is guided by an RNA molecule to bind to a specific region in DNA, and the Cas9 protein then acts like a pair of molecular scissors to cut the DNA, allowing it to be precisely modified.
Doudna, Li Ka Shing Chair of the Chancellor of Biomedical and Health Sciences and a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at UC Berkeley, is a faculty scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and chair of the Institute of Innovative Genomics (IGI). (Berkeley Lab) and a senior researcher at Gladstone Institutes. Charpentier, affiliated with the University of Vienna and Umeå University in Sweden in 2012, was appointed director of the Max Planck Institute for Infectious Biology in Berlin in 2015.
The pursuit of basic scientific research
Doudna’s research focused on RNA, which is DNA’s partner in carrying genetic information and an essential part of several molecular machines (such as ribosomes and telomerase) that help DNA do its job. He became interested in CRISPR because of his longstanding interest in such RNA-based machines.
Doudna’s attention was first drawn to CRISPR by UC Berkeley colleague Jill Banfield, who encountered her while studying bacteria living in extreme environments. The system intrigued Doudna, who wondered how the unusually repeated DNA sequence in the bacterial genome enabled bacteria to form a successful defense against viral infections.
What they and other researchers put together is that when viruses invade bacteria, the bacteria cut out the viral DNA and insert these parts into their genomes, like “most wanted posters.” If similar viruses invade again, roaming enzymes with RNA copies of these viral DNA bits study the virus, and if the RNA and DNA match, they will cut the DNA and kill the virus.
Charpentier was focusing on the Type 2 system (CRISPR-Cas9), and in an article published in Nature in 2011, she described an unusual RNA – tracrRNA (pronounced “tracer RNA”) not found in other CRISPR systems, and how it works together. It helps to create RNA copies of “most wanted posters” with the Cas9 protein.
She and Doudna then thought about how the Cas9 protein might be involved in the final step of CRISPR immunity: observing the cell and cutting out invading DNA. The two began collaborating that year after a meeting at a scientific conference in Puerto Rico.
A year later, in their seminal 2012 Science article, Doudna and Charpentier shook the scientific community by showing that the Cas9 protein is driven by an RNA that matches a viral sequence that it uses to find and destroy both the tracrRNA and the matching viral DNA.
Perhaps more importantly, the two scientists also demonstrated that this cellular defense system has applications beyond killing viruses. They transformed the two-part RNA into a single RNA and showed that it could be designed to detect any gene of any type, not just bacteria, which allowed the Cas9 protein to divide at that point. Doudna and Charpentier later made a suggestion that CRISPR-Cas9 could be redesigned to be an extraordinarily powerful tool for editing plant or animal genomes, including human genes, and customized to delete or insert specific DNA strands.
Molecular and cell biology profe at UC Berkeley
Jennifer Doudna Early life
Jennifer Doudna was born February 19, 1964 in Washington, D.C. 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 Doudna 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. Jennifer Doudna’s mother earned a second master’s degree in Asian history from the university and taught history at a local community college.
Growing up in Hilo, Hawaii, Doudna was fascinated by the environmental beauty of the island and its exotic plants and animals. They built her sense of curiosity about how nature works and she wanted to understand the underlying biological mechanisms.
When she was in school, she developed her interest in science and mathematics. Her father fostered a culture of intellectual pursuit in her home. He enjoyed reading about science and filled the home with plenty of books on popular science. When she was in the sixth grade, her father gave her a copy of The Double Helix (a book by James Watson). When she was in high school, she was influenced by Miss Wong, a chemistry teacher.
Jennifer Doudna University education and post-doctoral years
Doudna entered Pomona College in Claremont, California to study biochemistry. During her sophomore year, while taking a course in general chemistry, she questioned her own ability to pursue a career in science, and considered switching her major to French. However, her French teacher suggested she stick with science. Chemistry professors Fred Grieman and Corwin Hansch at Pomona had a major impact on her.
She started her first scientific research in the lab of professor Sharon Panasenko. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry in 1985. She chose Harvard Medical School for her doctoral study and earned a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology in 1989. Her Ph.D. dissertation was on a system that increased the efficiency of a self-replicating catalytic RNA and was supervised by Jack W.
Szostak. From 1989 to 1991, she held research fellowships in molecular biology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and in genetics at Harvard Medical School. From 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.
Career and research
Research on ribozyme structure and function
Early in her scientific career, Doudna worked to uncover the structure and biological function of RNA enzymes or ribozymes. While in the Szostak lab, Doudna re-engineered the self-splicing Tetrahymena Group I catalytic intron into a true catalytic ribozyme that copied RNA templates. Her focus was on engineering ribozymes and understanding their underlying mechanisms; however, she came to realize that not being able to see the molecular mechanisms of ribozymes was a major problem.
So 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. She started this project in the Cech lab in 1991 and finished it at Yale University in 1996. She had joined Yale’s Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry as an assistant professor in 1994.