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Jennifer Doudna


Jennifer Doudna (photo credit Keegan Houser UC Berkeley)
Jennifer Doudna is a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences and a Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Structural Biology. Her research focuses on RNA as it forms a variety of complex globular structures, some of which function like enzymes or form functional complexes with proteins. Her lab's research into RNA biology led to the discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 as a tool for making targeted changes to the genome. In bacteria, CRISPR systems preserve invading genetic material and incorporate it into surveillance complexes to achieve adaptive immunity. Crystal structures of diverse Cas9 proteins reveal RNA-mediated conformational activation. Current research in the Doudna lab focuses on discovering and determining the mechanisms of novel CRISPR-Cas and associated proteins, developing genome editing tools for use in vitro, in plants, and in mammals and developing anti-CRISPR agents. New discoveries in this field continue at a rapid pace, revealing a technology that has widespread applications in many areas of biology.