Congratulations to Nobel laureates Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier

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Julia Schaletzky

 

This post is written by:

Dr. Julia Schaletzky
Executive Director
Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases
UC Berkeley

Women's contribution to science being recognized

For the first time, two women have shared the Nobel prize in chemistry – Prof. Jennifer Doudna at UC Berkeley and Emmanuelle Charpentier at MPI Berlin, for developing a method for genome editing known as “CRISPR” which has been transforming the way we do science. The method is now widely used to develop novel diagnostics and therapeutics, showing how fundamental science can change the world and how solutions to problems often come from unexpected directions.

“Always encourage students to pursue their passions because we don’t know where the next big discovery and technologies are going to come from. Who knew that a bacterial immune system would emerge as a world changing technology for gene editing? But here we are.” said Doudna, who was awakened from a sound sleep by a reporter at 2:53 a.m. today, learning for the first time that she’d won a Nobel.

Reflecting on her career in science, she notes “Growing up, I have been told more than a few times that girls don’t do chemistry, or girls don’t do science – fortunately I ignored that! […] Thinking about my college experience, being trained by a female biochemist, Sharon Panasenko at Pomona college, who was truly inspirational to me, and my mentors over the years who have been so supportive…helping to build confidence in myself as a scientist, that has been key”.

Almost 50 years after Rosalind Franklin was famously denied credit for her ground-breaking work on the structure of DNA, Doudna says “Many women think that, no matter what they do, their work will never be recognized the way it would be if they were a man. And I think (this prize) refutes that. It makes a strong statement that women can do science, women can do chemistry, and that great science is recognized and honored.”

Congratulations and continue to be an inspiration to #WomeninSTEM!

This blog is authored by members of the CDD Vault community. CDD Vault is a hosted drug discovery informatics platform that securely manages both private and external biological and chemical data. It provides core functionality including chemical registrationstructure activity relationshipchemical inventory, and electronic lab notebook capabilities.

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