Jennifer Doudna at the Royal Society admissions day in London in 2016
|Born||Jennifer Anne Doudna
February 19, 1964
|Institutions||University of California, Berkeley
|Thesis||Towards the design of an RNA replicase (1989)|
|Doctoral advisor||Jack Szostak|
|Other academic advisors||Thomas Cech|
Jennifer Anne Doudna (born 19 February 1964) is a Professor of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of the University of California, Berkeley. She has been an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) since 1997.
Doudna has been a leading figure in what is often referred to as the "CRISPR Revolution" for her early fundamental work and ongoing leadership in the development of CRISPR-mediated genome editing. In their seminal 2012 paper A programmable dual-RNA-guided DNA endonuclease in adaptive bacterial immunity, Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier were the first to propose that CRISPR/Cas9 could be used for programmable gene editing, an idea that has since been further developed by many research groups for applications ranging from fundamental protein research to treatments for diseases including sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, Huntington's disease, and HIV.
Doudna has been widely acclaimed by the scientific community for her fundamental contributions to the field of biochemistry, receiving many prestigious awards and fellowships. She has also been recognized outside of the scientific community, being named one of the Time 100 most influential people in 2015 (with Charpentier) and listed as a runner-up for Time Person of the Year in 2016 alongside other CRISPR researchers.
Doudna earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Pomona College in 1985, and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Harvard University on ribozymes for research supervised by Jack W. Szostak. She did her postdoctoral research work with Thomas Cech at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Research and career
While in the Szostak lab, Doudna reengineered the self-splicing Group I catalytic intron into a true catalytic ribozyme that would copy RNA templates. Recognizing the limitations of not being able to see the molecular mechanisms of the ribozymes, she started work to crystallize and solve the three-dimensional structure of the Tetrahymena Group I ribozyme in 1991 in the Cech Lab and continued while she started her professorship at Yale University in 1994. While the group was able to grow high-quality crystals, they struggled with the phase problem due to unspecific binding of the metal ions. One of her early graduate students and later her husband, Jamie Cate decided to soak the crystals in osmium hexamine to imitate magnesium. Using this strategy, they were able to solve the structure, the second solved folded RNA structure since tRNA. The magnesium ions would cluster at the center of the ribozyme and would serve as a core for RNA folding similar to that of a hydrophobic core of a protein.
Doudna was promoted to the position of Henry Ford II Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale in 2000. In 2002, she accepted a faculty position at University of California, Berkeley as a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology so that she would be closer to family and the synchrotron at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This initial work to solve large RNA structures led to further structural studies on the HDV ribozyme, the IRES, and protein-RNA complexes like the Signal recognition particle. Her lab now focuses on obtaining a mechanistic understanding of biological processes involving RNA. This work is divided over three major areas, the CRISPR system, RNA interference, and translational control via MicroRNAs.
In 2012, Doudna and her colleagues generated a new discovery that would reduce the time and work needed to edit genomic DNA. Their discovery relies on a protein named Cas9 found in the Streptococcus bacteria "CRISPR" immune system that works like scissors. The protein attacks its prey, the DNA of viruses, and slices it up. In 2015, Doudna gave a TED Talk about the bioethics of using CRISPR.
Honors and awards
- 1999 NAS Award for Initiatives in Research
- 2000 Alan T. Waterman Award
- 2001 Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry
- 2013 Inaugural recipient of the Mildred Cohn Award in Biological Chemistry from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
- 2014 Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award (jointly with Feng Zhang and Emmanuelle Charpentier).
- 2014 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.
- 2014 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research shared with Emmanuelle Charpentier.
- 2014 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences shared with Emmanuelle Charpentier.
- 2015 Named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in the world, together with Emmanuelle Charpentier.
- 2015 Princess of Asturias Awards, together with Emmanuelle Charpentier.
- 2015 Gruber Prize in Genetics, with Emmanuelle Charpentier.
- 2016 Canada Gairdner International Award, with Emmanuelle Charpentier and Feng Zhang.
- 2016 Elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS).
- 2016 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize
- 2016 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize (jointly with Emmanuelle Charpentier).
- 2016 Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics.
- 2016 Tang Prize.
- 2016 HFSP Nakasone Award (jointly with Emmanuelle Charpentier).
- 2016 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award (jointly with Emmanuelle Charpentier and Francisco M. Mojica)
- 2017 Japan Prize (jointly with Emmanuelle Charpentier).
- 2017 F. Albert Cotton Medal 
- Doudna, Jennifer (2015). "Genome-editing revolution: My whirlwind year with CRISPR". Nature. 528 (7583): 469–71. PMID 26701037. doi:10.1038/528469a.
- Anon (2016). "Professor Jennifer Doudna ForMemRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2016-04-29. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the royalsociety.org website where:
“All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "Jennifer Doudna – American biochemist". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
- Pollack, Andrew (May 11, 2015). "Jennifer Doudna, a Pioneer Who Helped Simplify Genome Editing". New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
- Interview from the National Academy of Science
- Marino, M. (2004). "Biography of Jennifer A. Doudna". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 101 (49): 16987. doi:10.1073/pnas.0408147101.
- Jennifer Doudna's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier. (subscription required)
- Jinek, M.; Chilynksi, K.; Fonfara, I.,; Hauer, M.,; Doudna, J.,; Charpentier, E., (August 17, 2012). "A programmable dual-RNA-guided DNA endonuclease in adaptive bacterial immunity". Science. 337 (6069): 816–821. PMID 22745249. doi:10.1126/science.1225829.
- Barrangou, R.; Doudna, J., (September 8, 2016). "Applications of CRISPR technologies in research and beyond". Nature Biotechnology. 34 (9): 933–941. PMID 27606440. doi:10.1038/nbt.3659.
- King, Mary-Claire. "Time 100 Most Influential People: Emmanuelle Charpentier & Jennifer Doudna". Time. April 16. 2015. Web. 25 Dec. 2016. http://time.com/3822554/emmanuelle-charpentier-jennifer-doudna-2015-time-100/
- Park, Alice. "The CRISPR Pioneers: Their Breakthrough Work Could Change the World." Time. N.d. 2016. Web. 25 Dec. 2016. http://time.com/time-person-of-the-year-2016-crispr-runner-up/
- Doudna, Jennifer Anne (1989). Towards the design of an RNA replicase (PhD thesis). Harvard University. OCLC 23230360.
- Pollack, Andrew (2015-05-11). "Jennifer Doudna, a Pioneer Who Helped Simplify Genome Editing". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
- Rajagopal, J; Doudna, J.; Szostak, J. (May 12, 1989). "Stereochemical course of catalysis by the Tetrahymena ribozyme". Science. 244 (4905): 692–694. PMID 2470151. doi:10.1126/science.2470151.
- "Jennifer A. Doudna, Ph.D.". HHMI. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- Powell, Kendall (2005). "Renaissance Women". HHMI Bulletin. Archived from the original on September 23, 2012. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- Cate, JH; Gooding, AR; Podell, E; Zhou, K; Golden, BL; Kundrot, CE; Cech, TR; Doudna, JA (September 20, 1996). "Crystal structure of a group I ribozyme domain: principles of RNA packing.". Science. 273 (5282): 1678–85. PMID 8781224. doi:10.1126/science.273.5282.1678.
- "The Doudna Lab". Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- Russell, Sabin. "Cracking the Code: Jennifer Doudna and Her Amazing Molecular Scissors." Cal Alumni Association. N.p., 2014. Web. 17 Mar. 2015. http://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/winter-2014-gender-assumptions/cracking-code-jennifer-doudna-and-her-amazing
- "Jennifer Doudna TED Talk".
- Wear, Maggie (2013). "Doudna wins new Mildred Cohn award". ASBMB Today.
- "Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize 2016 for Charpentier and Doudna". Press Office of the Paul Ehrlich Foundation. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
- "Heineken Prizes - Jennifer Doudna". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- Tang Prize Foundation>>Laureates>>Biopharmaceutical Science>>2016 Tang Prize in Biopharmaceutical Science
- "The 2016 HFSP Nakasone Award goes to Emmanuelle Charpentier & Jennifer Doudna". Human Frontier Science Programme. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
- Japan Prize 2017
- F. Albert Cotton Medal 2017