Jennifer Doudna

Jennifer A. Doudna

Title
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry; Professor
Department
Dept of Chemistry
Dept of Molecular & Cell Biology
Phone
(510) 643-0113
Research Expertise and Interest
RNA machines, hepatitis C virus, RNA interference, ribosomes, x-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing
Research Description

Jennifer Doudna is a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, 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.

See also:  https://innovativegenomics.org

In the News

July 20, 2022

What Makes Omicron More Infectious Than Other COVID-19 Variants

As the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 spread rapidly around the globe earlier this year, researchers at Gladstone Institutes, UC Berkeley, and the Innovative Genomics Institute used virus-like particles to identify which parts of the virus are responsible for its increased infectivity and spread.
June 28, 2022

In 10 years, CRISPR transformed medicine. Can it now help us deal with climate change?

Coming from a long line of Iowa farmers, David Savage always thought he would do research to improve crops. That dream died in college, when it became clear that any genetic tweak to a crop would take at least a year to test; for some perennials and trees, it could take five to 10 years. Faced with such slow progress, he chose to study the proteins in photosynthetic bacteria instead. But the advent of CRISPR changed all that.
May 6, 2022

Berkeley’s Bakar BioEnginuity Hub opens its doors

UC Berkeley’s campus community this week celebrated the grand opening of the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub (BBH), the campus’s bold new home for research and innovation. After two years of seismic upgrades and renovations, BBH celebrated its opening this month. Bakar Labs, the facility’s flagship life sciences incubator, has been operational since mid-November, offering space to tenant companies.
December 6, 2021

CRISPRing the microbiome is just around the corner

To date, CRISPR enzymes have been used to edit the genomes of one type of cell at a time: They cut, delete or add genes to a specific kind of cell within a tissue or organ, for example, or to one kind of microbe growing in a test tube. Now, the University of California, Berkeley, group that invented the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology nearly 10 years ago has found a way to add or modify genes within a community of many different species simultaneously, opening the door to what could be called “community editing.”
December 1, 2021

$17 million will launch trial of CRISPR cure for sickle cell disease

A small clinical trial of a CRISPR cure for sickle cell disease, approved earlier this year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has received $17 million to enroll about nine patients, the first of which may be selected before the end of the year. The funds — $8.4 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and $8.6 million from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) — were awarded to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, which will coordinate the four-year clinical study in collaboration with colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, and UCLA.
August 5, 2021

Using two CRISPR enzymes, a COVID diagnostic in only 20 minutes

Frequent, rapid testing for COVID-19 is critical to controlling the spread of outbreaks, especially as new, more transmissible variants emerge. A research team at the UC, Berkeley is aiming to develop a diagnostic test that is much faster and easier to deploy than the gold standard qRT-PCR diagnostic test. The team has now combined two different types of CRISPR enzymes to create an assay that can detect small amounts of viral RNA in less than an hour.
December 10, 2020

High-powered, but supportive, environment draws students to Nobel winners’ labs

On the morning that University of California, Berkeley, professor Jennifer Doudna won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, her first stop after a 7 a.m. press conference and subsequent media interviews was her campus lab in the Innovative Genomics Institute. When she exited the elevator with her family at 10:30 a.m., she was greeted by dozens of graduate students and lab staff, while several dozen current and former lab members joined in via Zoom.
December 8, 2020

Nobel Prize ceremonies go virtual for Doudna, Genzel

For the first time since World War II, winners of this year’s Nobel Prizes will not be receiving their medals and diplomas from the King of Sweden in Stockholm. The pandemic has forced the Nobel Committees to deliver the medals to recipients at their homes, with just immediate family and consular or embassy officials in attendance.
October 7, 2020

UC Berkeley campus reacts to this week’s two Nobel Prize wins

In just two days, UC Berkeley is two Nobel Prizes richer. Today (Wednesday, Oct. 7), biochemist Jennifer Doudna won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, with her colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier, for the co-development of CRISPR-Cas9, a revolutionary gene-editing tool that allows scientists to rewrite DNA.
October 7, 2020

First Day in a Nobel Life: Jennifer Doudna

When UC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna went to sleep last night, she didn’t give serious thought to her chance of winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Then, a phone call woke her up today, just before 3 a.m. It was a reporter, asking for a comment about winning the prize. Doudna said her initial response was, “Who won?”
October 7, 2020

Jill Banfield: How a curious Google search led me to Jennifer Doudna

Jill Banfield is a UC Berkeley professor who studies the structure, functioning and diversity of microbial communities in natural environments and the human microbiome. In this “On My Mind” feature, she describes how she first met Berkeley’s newest Nobel laureate, Jennifer Doudna, who gave thanks to Banfield at Wednesday’s press conference.
October 7, 2020

UC Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna wins 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

University of California, Berkeley, biochemist Jennifer Doudna today won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, sharing it with colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier for the co-development of CRISPR-Cas9, a genome editing breakthrough that has revolutionized biomedicine.
July 1, 2020

UC Berkeley launches trial of saliva test for COVID-19

Scientists from the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI), the same UC Berkeley group that rapidly popped up a state-of-the-art COVID-19 testing laboratory in March, are now trialing a quicker way to obtain patient samples: through saliva.
May 13, 2020

Campus lab takes COVID-19 testing to utility workers, underserved

A month after opening, a COVID-19 testing lab at the University of California, Berkeley, has branched out from evaluating symptomatic students to assessing a broader range of people potentially exposed to the new coronavirus, including residents of local nursing homes, the East Bay’s homeless population, front-line firefighters and police officers and, now, utility workers around the state.
March 30, 2020

UC Berkeley scientists spin up a robotic COVID-19 testing lab

As doctors around the country scramble to diagnose cases of COVID-19, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley’s Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) are creating from scratch a diagnostic lab with the capability to process more than 1,000 patient samples per day.
December 31, 2019

UC rings out 2019 with its 20th CRISPR patent

The federal government has given the University of California a New Year’s Eve gift — its 20th U.S. patent on CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technologies. The addition expands a broad patent portfolio that is already being used to improve human and animal health and crop breeding.
October 1, 2019

UC now holds largest CRISPR-Cas9 patent portfolio

Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a new CRISPR-Cas9 patent to the University of California, University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier covering new methods of gene editing in prokaryotic cells. The new patent covers methods of targeting and binding or methods of cleaving a target DNA in a prokaryotic cell using Cas9 protein and single molecule DNA targeting RNAs. This patent specifically covers these methods in bacterial cells.
September 24, 2019

University of California awarded 15th U.S. CRISPR-Cas9 patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today granted the University of California (UC) and its partners, the University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, a new CRISPR-Cas9 patent, bringing the team’s continually expanding patent portfolio to 15.
September 17, 2019

CRISPR portfolio now at 14 and counting

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today awarded the University of California (UC), University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier a patent for CRISPR-Cas9 that, along with two others awarded this month, brings the team’s comprehensive portfolio of gene-editing patents to 14.
August 20, 2019

UC receives its 11th U.S. patent for CRISPR-Cas9

The University of California, the University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier received an 11th U.S. patent involving CRISPR-Cas9, further expanding the reach of UC’s patented technology relating to this revolutionary gene-editing tool.
August 20, 2019

Doudna awarded prize for helping build a better, more harmonious world

Structural biologist and biochemist Jennifer Doudna has been honored with the 2019 Welfare Betterment Prize, a relatively new Hong Kong-based prize, for her pioneering discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. “Its potential applications for improving human welfare are vast, and Dr. Doudna’s work has already given hope to millions worldwide,” the board of the Lui Che Woo Prize — Prize for World Civilization said in an announcement.
July 23, 2019

Newly granted CRISPR patents boost UC’s U.S. portfolio to 10

The University of California has received two new patents for use of the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 technology, increasing its gene-editing patent portfolio to 10. Five more are expected to be issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the end of the summer.
July 16, 2019

Eighth CRISPR patent issued by U.S.; seven more soon to come

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has awarded a new patent to the University of California (UC), University of Vienna, and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier covering methods of producing a genetically modified cell through the introduction of the Cas9 protein, or a nucleic acid encoding the Cas9 protein, as well as a single molecule DNA-targeting RNA. This patent (U.S. 10,351,878) covers the use of this method in a cell.
June 13, 2019

GlaxoSmithKline taps UC’s CRISPR expertise to speed drug discovery

The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today announced a five-year collaboration with UC Berkeley and UCSF to establish a laboratory where state-of-the-art CRISPR techniques will be used to explore how gene mutations cause disease, potentially yielding new technologies using CRISPR that would rapidly accelerate the discovery of new medicines.
March 28, 2019

Introducing a kinder, gentler way to blow holes in cells

A new technique developed by University of California, Berkeley uses inexpensive lab equipment to efficiently infuse large macromolecules into cells. Called nanopore-electroporation, or nanoEP, the technique gently creates fewer than a dozen tiny holes in each cell that are sufficient to let molecules into the cell without traumatizing it.
March 12, 2019

UC awarded third CRISPR patent, expanding its gene-editing portfolio

The University of California announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued U.S. Patent Number 10,227,611 covering use of single-molecule RNA guides and Cas9 protein in any cell, thus creating efficient and effective ways for scientists to target and edit genes.
February 11, 2019

U.S. patent office indicates it will issue third CRISPR patent to UC

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a notice of allowance for a University of California patent application covering systems and methods for using single molecule guide RNAs that, when combined with the Cas9 protein, create more efficient and effective ways for scientists to target and edit genes.
October 18, 2018

Doudna receives Medal of Honor from American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society will bestow its highest honor, the Medal of Honor, on Jennifer Doudna and four others. The medal is awarded to distinguished individuals who have made valuable contributions in the fight against cancer through basic research, clinical research and cancer control.
July 21, 2017

Researchers discover how CRISPR proteins find their target

UC Berkeley researchers have discovered how Cas1-Cas2, the proteins responsible for the ability of the CRISPR immune system in bacteria to adapt to new viral infections, identify the site in the genome where they insert viral DNA so they can recognize it later and mount an attack.
July 19, 2017

Defense department pours $65 million into making CRISPR safer

With one eye on potential bioterrorism threats, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency today announced $65 million in funding to seven projects around the country – including one led by UC Berkeley – to improve the safety and accuracy of gene editing.
June 20, 2016

Taiwan’s Tang Prizes awarded to Doudna, Rosenfeld

Taiwan’s top science award, the Tang Prize, has gone to two UC Berkeley scientists well-known in the fields of biochemistry and physics: Jennifer Doudna, for her invention of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, and Arthur Rosenfeld, often called the “godfather of energy efficiency.”

February 27, 2015

Unlocking the Key to Immunological Memory in Bacteria

A powerful genome editing tool may soon become even more powerful. Researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have unlocked the key to how bacteria are able to “steal” genetic information from viruses and other foreign invaders for use in their own immunological memory system.

April 3, 2014

College of Chemistry launches research hub with BASF, UCLA and Stanford

The College of Chemistry has launched a new collaborative research center, the California Research Alliance by BASF (CARA), a multidisciplinary effort focused on innovation and technology transfer. Along with Berkeley and the chemical company BASF, CARA academic partners include UCLA and Stanford University.

March 18, 2014

Crispr Goes Global

Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues showed that CRISPR/Cas9, can be used with great precision to selectively disable or add several genes at once in human cells, offering a potent new tool to understand and treat complex genetic diseases.

February 6, 2014

New insight into an emerging genome-editing tool

Biochemist Jennifer Doudna and biophysicist Eva Nogales led an international collaboration with results that point the way to the rational design of new and improved versions of Cas9 enzymes for basic research and genetic engineering.

January 29, 2014

Puzzling question in bacterial immune system answered

A team of researchers with the Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have determined how the bacterial enzyme known as Cas9, guided by RNA, is able to identify and degrade foreign DNA during viral infections, as well as induce site-specific genetic changes in animal and plant cells

January 7, 2013

Cheap and easy technique to snip DNA could revolutionize gene therapy

A simple, precise and inexpensive method for cutting DNA to insert genes into human cells could transform genetic medicine, making routine what now are expensive, complicated and rare procedures for replacing defective genes in order to fix genetic disease or even cure AIDS.

October 11, 2010

Doudna elected to Institute of Medicine

Jennifer Doudna has been elected a member of the Institute of Medicine, considered one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health. A professor of molecular and cell biology and an LBNL scientist, Doudna is one of only 12 IOM members on the UC Berkeley faculty.

In the News

July 20, 2022

What Makes Omicron More Infectious Than Other COVID-19 Variants

As the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 spread rapidly around the globe earlier this year, researchers at Gladstone Institutes, UC Berkeley, and the Innovative Genomics Institute used virus-like particles to identify which parts of the virus are responsible for its increased infectivity and spread.
June 28, 2022

In 10 years, CRISPR transformed medicine. Can it now help us deal with climate change?

Coming from a long line of Iowa farmers, David Savage always thought he would do research to improve crops. That dream died in college, when it became clear that any genetic tweak to a crop would take at least a year to test; for some perennials and trees, it could take five to 10 years. Faced with such slow progress, he chose to study the proteins in photosynthetic bacteria instead. But the advent of CRISPR changed all that.
May 6, 2022

Berkeley’s Bakar BioEnginuity Hub opens its doors

UC Berkeley’s campus community this week celebrated the grand opening of the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub (BBH), the campus’s bold new home for research and innovation. After two years of seismic upgrades and renovations, BBH celebrated its opening this month. Bakar Labs, the facility’s flagship life sciences incubator, has been operational since mid-November, offering space to tenant companies.
December 6, 2021

CRISPRing the microbiome is just around the corner

To date, CRISPR enzymes have been used to edit the genomes of one type of cell at a time: They cut, delete or add genes to a specific kind of cell within a tissue or organ, for example, or to one kind of microbe growing in a test tube. Now, the University of California, Berkeley, group that invented the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology nearly 10 years ago has found a way to add or modify genes within a community of many different species simultaneously, opening the door to what could be called “community editing.”
December 1, 2021

$17 million will launch trial of CRISPR cure for sickle cell disease

A small clinical trial of a CRISPR cure for sickle cell disease, approved earlier this year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has received $17 million to enroll about nine patients, the first of which may be selected before the end of the year. The funds — $8.4 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) and $8.6 million from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) — were awarded to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, which will coordinate the four-year clinical study in collaboration with colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, and UCLA.
August 5, 2021

Using two CRISPR enzymes, a COVID diagnostic in only 20 minutes

Frequent, rapid testing for COVID-19 is critical to controlling the spread of outbreaks, especially as new, more transmissible variants emerge. A research team at the UC, Berkeley is aiming to develop a diagnostic test that is much faster and easier to deploy than the gold standard qRT-PCR diagnostic test. The team has now combined two different types of CRISPR enzymes to create an assay that can detect small amounts of viral RNA in less than an hour.
December 10, 2020

High-powered, but supportive, environment draws students to Nobel winners’ labs

On the morning that University of California, Berkeley, professor Jennifer Doudna won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, her first stop after a 7 a.m. press conference and subsequent media interviews was her campus lab in the Innovative Genomics Institute. When she exited the elevator with her family at 10:30 a.m., she was greeted by dozens of graduate students and lab staff, while several dozen current and former lab members joined in via Zoom.
December 8, 2020

Nobel Prize ceremonies go virtual for Doudna, Genzel

For the first time since World War II, winners of this year’s Nobel Prizes will not be receiving their medals and diplomas from the King of Sweden in Stockholm. The pandemic has forced the Nobel Committees to deliver the medals to recipients at their homes, with just immediate family and consular or embassy officials in attendance.
October 7, 2020

UC Berkeley campus reacts to this week’s two Nobel Prize wins

In just two days, UC Berkeley is two Nobel Prizes richer. Today (Wednesday, Oct. 7), biochemist Jennifer Doudna won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, with her colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier, for the co-development of CRISPR-Cas9, a revolutionary gene-editing tool that allows scientists to rewrite DNA.
October 7, 2020

First Day in a Nobel Life: Jennifer Doudna

When UC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna went to sleep last night, she didn’t give serious thought to her chance of winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Then, a phone call woke her up today, just before 3 a.m. It was a reporter, asking for a comment about winning the prize. Doudna said her initial response was, “Who won?”
October 7, 2020

Jill Banfield: How a curious Google search led me to Jennifer Doudna

Jill Banfield is a UC Berkeley professor who studies the structure, functioning and diversity of microbial communities in natural environments and the human microbiome. In this “On My Mind” feature, she describes how she first met Berkeley’s newest Nobel laureate, Jennifer Doudna, who gave thanks to Banfield at Wednesday’s press conference.
October 7, 2020

UC Berkeley’s Jennifer Doudna wins 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

University of California, Berkeley, biochemist Jennifer Doudna today won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, sharing it with colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier for the co-development of CRISPR-Cas9, a genome editing breakthrough that has revolutionized biomedicine.
July 1, 2020

UC Berkeley launches trial of saliva test for COVID-19

Scientists from the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI), the same UC Berkeley group that rapidly popped up a state-of-the-art COVID-19 testing laboratory in March, are now trialing a quicker way to obtain patient samples: through saliva.
May 13, 2020

Campus lab takes COVID-19 testing to utility workers, underserved

A month after opening, a COVID-19 testing lab at the University of California, Berkeley, has branched out from evaluating symptomatic students to assessing a broader range of people potentially exposed to the new coronavirus, including residents of local nursing homes, the East Bay’s homeless population, front-line firefighters and police officers and, now, utility workers around the state.
March 30, 2020

UC Berkeley scientists spin up a robotic COVID-19 testing lab

As doctors around the country scramble to diagnose cases of COVID-19, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley’s Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) are creating from scratch a diagnostic lab with the capability to process more than 1,000 patient samples per day.
December 31, 2019

UC rings out 2019 with its 20th CRISPR patent

The federal government has given the University of California a New Year’s Eve gift — its 20th U.S. patent on CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technologies. The addition expands a broad patent portfolio that is already being used to improve human and animal health and crop breeding.
October 1, 2019

UC now holds largest CRISPR-Cas9 patent portfolio

Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted a new CRISPR-Cas9 patent to the University of California, University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier covering new methods of gene editing in prokaryotic cells. The new patent covers methods of targeting and binding or methods of cleaving a target DNA in a prokaryotic cell using Cas9 protein and single molecule DNA targeting RNAs. This patent specifically covers these methods in bacterial cells.
September 24, 2019

University of California awarded 15th U.S. CRISPR-Cas9 patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today granted the University of California (UC) and its partners, the University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, a new CRISPR-Cas9 patent, bringing the team’s continually expanding patent portfolio to 15.
September 17, 2019

CRISPR portfolio now at 14 and counting

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today awarded the University of California (UC), University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier a patent for CRISPR-Cas9 that, along with two others awarded this month, brings the team’s comprehensive portfolio of gene-editing patents to 14.
August 20, 2019

UC receives its 11th U.S. patent for CRISPR-Cas9

The University of California, the University of Vienna and Emmanuelle Charpentier received an 11th U.S. patent involving CRISPR-Cas9, further expanding the reach of UC’s patented technology relating to this revolutionary gene-editing tool.
August 20, 2019

Doudna awarded prize for helping build a better, more harmonious world

Structural biologist and biochemist Jennifer Doudna has been honored with the 2019 Welfare Betterment Prize, a relatively new Hong Kong-based prize, for her pioneering discovery of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. “Its potential applications for improving human welfare are vast, and Dr. Doudna’s work has already given hope to millions worldwide,” the board of the Lui Che Woo Prize — Prize for World Civilization said in an announcement.
July 23, 2019

Newly granted CRISPR patents boost UC’s U.S. portfolio to 10

The University of California has received two new patents for use of the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 technology, increasing its gene-editing patent portfolio to 10. Five more are expected to be issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the end of the summer.
July 16, 2019

Eighth CRISPR patent issued by U.S.; seven more soon to come

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has awarded a new patent to the University of California (UC), University of Vienna, and Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier covering methods of producing a genetically modified cell through the introduction of the Cas9 protein, or a nucleic acid encoding the Cas9 protein, as well as a single molecule DNA-targeting RNA. This patent (U.S. 10,351,878) covers the use of this method in a cell.
June 13, 2019

GlaxoSmithKline taps UC’s CRISPR expertise to speed drug discovery

The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today announced a five-year collaboration with UC Berkeley and UCSF to establish a laboratory where state-of-the-art CRISPR techniques will be used to explore how gene mutations cause disease, potentially yielding new technologies using CRISPR that would rapidly accelerate the discovery of new medicines.
March 28, 2019

Introducing a kinder, gentler way to blow holes in cells

A new technique developed by University of California, Berkeley uses inexpensive lab equipment to efficiently infuse large macromolecules into cells. Called nanopore-electroporation, or nanoEP, the technique gently creates fewer than a dozen tiny holes in each cell that are sufficient to let molecules into the cell without traumatizing it.
March 12, 2019

UC awarded third CRISPR patent, expanding its gene-editing portfolio

The University of California announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued U.S. Patent Number 10,227,611 covering use of single-molecule RNA guides and Cas9 protein in any cell, thus creating efficient and effective ways for scientists to target and edit genes.
February 11, 2019

U.S. patent office indicates it will issue third CRISPR patent to UC

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a notice of allowance for a University of California patent application covering systems and methods for using single molecule guide RNAs that, when combined with the Cas9 protein, create more efficient and effective ways for scientists to target and edit genes.
October 18, 2018

Doudna receives Medal of Honor from American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society will bestow its highest honor, the Medal of Honor, on Jennifer Doudna and four others. The medal is awarded to distinguished individuals who have made valuable contributions in the fight against cancer through basic research, clinical research and cancer control.
July 21, 2017

Researchers discover how CRISPR proteins find their target

UC Berkeley researchers have discovered how Cas1-Cas2, the proteins responsible for the ability of the CRISPR immune system in bacteria to adapt to new viral infections, identify the site in the genome where they insert viral DNA so they can recognize it later and mount an attack.
July 19, 2017

Defense department pours $65 million into making CRISPR safer

With one eye on potential bioterrorism threats, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency today announced $65 million in funding to seven projects around the country – including one led by UC Berkeley – to improve the safety and accuracy of gene editing.
June 20, 2016

Taiwan’s Tang Prizes awarded to Doudna, Rosenfeld

Taiwan’s top science award, the Tang Prize, has gone to two UC Berkeley scientists well-known in the fields of biochemistry and physics: Jennifer Doudna, for her invention of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, and Arthur Rosenfeld, often called the “godfather of energy efficiency.”

February 27, 2015

Unlocking the Key to Immunological Memory in Bacteria

A powerful genome editing tool may soon become even more powerful. Researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have unlocked the key to how bacteria are able to “steal” genetic information from viruses and other foreign invaders for use in their own immunological memory system.

April 3, 2014

College of Chemistry launches research hub with BASF, UCLA and Stanford

The College of Chemistry has launched a new collaborative research center, the California Research Alliance by BASF (CARA), a multidisciplinary effort focused on innovation and technology transfer. Along with Berkeley and the chemical company BASF, CARA academic partners include UCLA and Stanford University.

March 18, 2014

Crispr Goes Global

Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues showed that CRISPR/Cas9, can be used with great precision to selectively disable or add several genes at once in human cells, offering a potent new tool to understand and treat complex genetic diseases.

February 6, 2014

New insight into an emerging genome-editing tool

Biochemist Jennifer Doudna and biophysicist Eva Nogales led an international collaboration with results that point the way to the rational design of new and improved versions of Cas9 enzymes for basic research and genetic engineering.

January 29, 2014

Puzzling question in bacterial immune system answered

A team of researchers with the Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley have determined how the bacterial enzyme known as Cas9, guided by RNA, is able to identify and degrade foreign DNA during viral infections, as well as induce site-specific genetic changes in animal and plant cells

January 7, 2013

Cheap and easy technique to snip DNA could revolutionize gene therapy

A simple, precise and inexpensive method for cutting DNA to insert genes into human cells could transform genetic medicine, making routine what now are expensive, complicated and rare procedures for replacing defective genes in order to fix genetic disease or even cure AIDS.

October 11, 2010

Doudna elected to Institute of Medicine

Jennifer Doudna has been elected a member of the Institute of Medicine, considered one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health. A professor of molecular and cell biology and an LBNL scientist, Doudna is one of only 12 IOM members on the UC Berkeley faculty.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
March 29, 2022
Innovative Genomics Institute founder, Nobel Laureate, and CRISPR co-founder Jennifer Doudna joins Emily Chang to discuss the future of the CRISPR technology and its commercialization, as well as the biotech industry landscape post-pandemic. She also gives her reaction to UC Berkeley losing the CRISPR patent battle against MIT and Harvard.
June 21, 2021
Biochemist Jennifer Doudna is best known for her pioneering work in CRISPR gene editing, for which she was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry. She's also a leading biotech entrepreneur, with several life science start-ups under her belt. In a rare interview, Doudna talks about the current work at her Innovative Genomics Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, where scientists are applying genome editing technology to diagnostics, drug discovery, agbiotech and even climate change.
December 14, 2020
Robert Glatter, MD
Two recent proof-of-concept studies using novel smartphone-based CRISPR technology coupled with optics and fluorescence detection may be poised to change how we approach not only rapid testing and screening, but also testing for acute infection.  Dr. Jennifer Doudna, one of the collaborating authors of this novel amplification-free RNA approach to CRISPR-based smartphone testing described in this paper, was also the co-recipient (along with Emmanuelle Carpentier) of the 2020 Nobel prize in Chemistry for her pioneering work in CRISPR gene editing. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News.
December 9, 2020
Ron Leuty
Tapping the expertise of Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and medical smart-phone technology expert Dan Fletcher from UC Berkeley, researchers believe they're on the cusp of a point-of-care COVID test that would deliver results within 30 minutes. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News.
FullStory (*requires registration)

October 26, 2020
Ken Alltucker
Coronavirus tests performed in labs are the gold standard for accuracy, and antigen tests are a fast and inexpensive alternative. But backers of a third type of test, developed by a Nobel Prize winner using cutting-edge CRISPR technology, say it has the potential to be all three: rapid, accurate and inexpensive. Dr. Jennifer Doudna, a University of California, Berkeley researcher whose pioneering work in CRISPR earned a share of this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry, said the test can be done quickly and doesn't require a lab.  "We have a ways to go before CRISPR-based diagnostics reach widespread use, but I believe we'll see an impact during the current pandemic," Doudna said. "Because it is simple to adjust these tests to detect other targets, the platform we're developing now is laying the groundwork to deploy CRISPR for rapid diagnosis during future outbreaks."
October 12, 2020
Jill Cowan
The New York Times talks to UC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna about her winning the Nobel Prize in chemistry and about the impact the pandemic has had on her work. "I'd love to see science become more integrated into our daily conversations. It seems that in the past, at least in certain societies, science was much more integrated. And I would love to see us work toward that. We could be using different forms of media, whether it's in cartoons or short videos, and more conversational use of language that isn't exclusive - not using jargon. One of the things that I've seen in my career is that there's been an unfortunate change in the opposite direction where scientists are increasingly distrusted." For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News.
FullStory (*requires registration)

October 8, 2020
Michael Cabanatuan
UC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer Doudna won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for her work helping to develop a genome-editing tool, a breakthrough in biomedicine. Working with colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier, of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Doudna developed CRISPR-Cas9, which allows scientists to edit DNA strands with previously unfathomable precision. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News. Stories on this topic have appeared in dozens of sources, including The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, AP News, Reuters, NPR, CNN, and The Mercury News.
FullStory (*requires registration)

October 7, 2020
Katherine J. Wu, Carl Zimmer and Elian Peltier
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was jointly awarded on Wednesday to Emmanuelle Charpentier and UC Berkeley professor Jennifer A. Doudna for their work on Crispr-Cas9, a method to edit DNA. The announcement marks the first time the award has gone to two women. "This year's prize is about rewriting the code of life," Goran K. Hansson, the secretary-general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said as he announced the names of the laureates. Dr. Charpentier and Dr. Doudna, only the sixth and seventh women in history to win a chemistry prize, did much of the pioneering work to turn molecules made by microbes into a tool for customizing genes — whether in microbes, plants, animals or even humans. "I'm over the moon, I'm in shock," Dr. Doudna, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said at a news conference on Wednesday. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News. Stories on this topic have appeared in dozens of sources, including The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, AP News, Reuters, NPR, CNN, and The Mercury News.
FullStory (*requires registration)

September 18, 2020
Devin Coldewey
UC Berkeley professor Jennifer Doudna, one of the pioneers of the gene-editing technique known as CRISPR, thinks the biotech tool could be an essential one for combating COVID-19 and future pandemics. Due to its capacity to be "reprogrammed" like software, CRISPR could eventually be integral to countless tests and treatments. "One thing that's so intriguing about the whole CRISPR technology, it's a toolbox and there's many ways to repurpose it for manipulating genomes, but also for detection, even getting virus materials and the kinds of reagents that you need for an effective vaccine," she explained.
August 7, 2020
Alison Snyder
The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the development of CRISPR-based tests for detecting disease - and highlighting how gene-editing tools might one day fight pandemics, according to one of its discoverers, Jennifer Doudna, biochemistry professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
May 4, 2020
Massimo Gaggi
Molecular and cell biology professor Jennifer Doudna, co-inventor of the CRISPR gene-editing technology, discusses the rapid transformation of one of her labs in the Innovative Genomic Institute into a popup COVID-19 testing lab that uses robots. The interview, in Italian, is the journal's cover story. For more on the lab, see our press release at Berkeley News. Stories on this topic have appeared in dozens of sources around the world.
April 17, 2020
Joe Palca
A new COVID-19 testing system that harnesses CRISPR gene-editing technology takes significantly less time to report results -- roughly 40 minutes, compared to the 4-to-6-hour turnaround with currently used tests. The scientists developing the CRISPR test are from UCSF and Mammoth Biosciences, a startup co-founded and advised by molecular and cell biology professor Jennifer Doudna, one of CRISPR's co-inventors. On Thursday, the researchers published a second study demonstrating the test's capabilities in the largest-yet sample of real patients in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Biotechnology. Speaking of how easy and self-contained the test is, compared to others currently used, Charles Chiu, associate director of the UCSF clinical microbiology laboratory and the scientist leading the study with Mammoth, says: "I can run it now myself at home. ... What we really want to develop is something like a handheld, pocket-sized device using disposable cartridges" that nonexperts could use. He says they plan to submit the test for FDA approval next week. Stories on this topic have appeared in more than 100 sources around the world, including CNET, KPIX Online, and KTVU--link to video.
April 16, 2020
Erin Brodwin
A new COVID-19 testing system that harnesses CRISPR gene-editing technology takes significantly less time to report results -- roughly 40 minutes, compared to the 4-to-6-hour turnaround with currently used tests. The scientists developing the CRISPR test are from UCSF and Mammoth Biosciences, a startup co-founded and advised by molecular and cell biology professor Jennifer Doudna, one of CRISPR's co-inventors. On Thursday, the researchers published a second study demonstrating the test's capabilities in the largest-yet sample of real patients in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Biotechnology. The test does currently have some flaws, including false negatives, but, as Charles Chiu, associate director of the UCSF clinical microbiology laboratory and the scientist leading the study with Mammoth, says: "The advantage of this test is that it could be done rapidly, and even multiple times, if needed. ... We literally went from nothing to an assay in three weeks. ... This is a state-of-the-art technology. ... It's going to undergo a lot of regulatory scrutiny because it's going to be the first of its kind." Chiu says they plan to submit the test for FDA approval next week.
March 30, 2020
Matthew Herper
Molecular and cell biology professor Jennifer Doudna, co-inventor of the CRISPR gene editing technology, is leading a team of academic and industry researchers in setting up a testing site for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Using a 2,500-square-foot laboratory, they will serve the Bay Area, processing more than 1,000 samples a day. Later, if the need is there, they hope to be able to process 3,000 a day. "This is a big, big issue here in the U.S.," Professor Doudna says. "We need to ramp up testing very fast. It's been problematic for various reasons. And so we are building and implementing a clinical testing laboratory on the UC Berkeley campus to do exactly that. ... It's unbelievable to see how fast this is coming together and people writing software just overnight to put such a complicated pipeline in place and ensure that it's secure." For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News. Another story on this topic appeared in Berkeleyside.
March 24, 2020
Nidhi Subbaraman
As scientists race to find new diagnostic tests for the COVID-19 coronavirus, molecular and cell biology professor Jennifer Doudna is working on solutions using the CRISPR gene-editing technology she co-invented. Through Mammoth Biosciences, a biotechnology startup she co-founded, she aims to validate the CRISPR-based approach called DETECTR. It uses CRISPR to recognize specific genetic sequences and cut them. In the process, it also cuts a 'reporter' molecule added to the reaction, and that quickly shows if the viral genetic material is present. "Every single time we have an outbreak, we're one step behind in that we don't have a rapid diagnostic to detect that new organism," says Charles Chiu, an infectious-diseases physician at UCSF, who is working with Mammoth Biosciences. "The key advantage is that a CRISPR reaction is incredibly specific and can be done in 5–10 minutes." Another story on this topic appeared in Science.
February 28, 2020
Daniel Markus
In an interview about the CRISPR gene-editing technology she co-invented, molecular and cell biology professor Jennifer Doudna is asked how she feels about indications in human clinical trials that CRISPR is showing promise for the treatment of sickle cell anemia. She responds: "Deeply moved, because I think for any of us working in science, the idea that our work could someday help someone with a health care situation that they and their families are facing, that's really why we do our work. So I feel very excited about the potential of the technology. ... Of course, I'm cautious. I want to make sure that it proceeds in a very appropriate, regulated fashion, and these trials that we're seeing the early announcements for right now are going exactly down that path. ... Assuming that those trials pan out, the big question will be how do we make sure that this technology is affordable and accessible to people that need it? That's really the challenge that I'm now thinking more and more about and working on at the Innovative Genomics Institute."
January 15, 2020
Greer Fay Cashman
Molecular and cell biology professor Jennifer Doudna is sharing the 2020 Wolf Prize in Medicine with colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max Planck Institute in Berlin for their co-invention of CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology. The international prize is awarded in Israel by the Wolf Foundation, and it is widely considered a stepping stone to the Nobel Prize. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News. Stories on this topic have appeared in hundreds of sources around the world, including Haaretz (Israel).
January 3, 2020
Sarah Morgan
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted UC its 20th US patent on CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technologies, co-invented by molecular and cell biology professor Jennifer Doudna. It was the 18th CRISPR-Cas9-related patent awarded to UC and its collaborators in just the last year. "2019 was an incredibly important and fruitful year in our continuous efforts to sustain UC as the leader of CRISPR-Cas9 IP in the US," said Eldora Ellison, UC's lead patent strategist on CRISPR-Cas9 and a director at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox. For more on this, see our story at Berkeley News.
April 30, 2019
Melr Rinde

Biochemist Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues rocked the research world in 2012 when they described a simple way of editing the DNA of any organism using an RNA-guided protein found in bacteria. Discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology sharply accelerated work on human and nonhuman gene editing, helping researchers develop potential treatments for HIV, sickle-cell disease, and muscular dystrophy. Doudna, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has become the public face of CRISPR and an advocate for robust public discussion of the ethical implications of gene editing. In November 2018 she visited the Science History Institute to give the annual Ullyot Public Affairs Lecture and receive the accompanying award. Before the talk Distillations writer Meir Rinde sat down with Doudna to find out what scientists can do with CRISPR, whether we should worry about designer embryos, and how to grow 500 tomatoes on a single plant.

March 4, 2019
Claire Hoffman
In a series called "Women Shaping the Future," molecular and cell biology professor Jennifer Doudna is profiled for her co-invention of the CRISPR gene-editing technology, which the writers describe as "capable of changing the DNA of any living thing almost as simply as using a find-and-replace function in a word processor." While noting the life-affirming potential of the technology -- from curing heritable diseases to enhancing crops -- they also highlight her leadership in ensuring that the technology is used ethically and responsibly. Professor Doudna was also interviewed by BBC--link to audio.
February 11, 2019
Brendan Pierson, Reuters
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has decided to grant the University of California a new patent recognizing the pioneering work of molecular and cell biology professor Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier of the University of Vienna in the initial development of CRISPR gene-editing technology. According to Eldora Ellison, UC's lead patent strategist on CRISPR matters: "The issued patent will encompass the use of CRISPR-Cas9 technology in any cellular or non-cellular environment." The patent, expected to be issued within two months, could be worth billions of dollars in future applications, including the treatment of heritable diseases and crop engineering. Stories on this topic have appeared in dozens of sources around the world, including Science Magazine, Science and Enterprise, STAT, and Fortune.
FullStory (*requires registration)

January 24, 2019
Claudia Dreifus
Molecular and cell biology professor Jennifer Doudna received the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize recently at Rockefeller University in New York. The honor, established by Nobel Laureat Paul Greengard and his wife, the artist Ursula von Rydingsvard, recognizes women scientists. Before the ceremony, Professor Doudna talked to this reporter, and their conversation is transcribed here. Asked about some of the difficulties she's experienced in patent cases related to her co-invention of the CRISPR genome-editing technology, she says: "The truth is that no one can ever take away from me the joy of the actual discovery. No one can take away those moments in the lab when we saw something in nature that had never been seen before. ... That's what I love about science. You go into the lab, do an experiment, and get a little bit of knowledge about the world that unravels another piece of the mystery of nature. I love that."
November 27, 2018
Megan Molteni
A new lab co-founded by molecular and cell biology professor Jennifer Doudna will explore genome surgery options for patients with rare genetic disorders. Using the CRISPR gene-editing technology she co-invented, she intends to find ways to edit out faulty genes, curing the diseases at the source -- in their genetic code. Professor Doudna has established a number of labs to explore various uses of the CRISPR technology, but often the pressure of turning a quick profit prohibits costly research that would benefit small populations. Since this would help people with rare diseases, she chose to house this lab at Gladstone, a nonprofit biomedical research center affiliated with UC San Francisco. "We're focused on what's going to be best for patients in the long run, not simply what product can we quickly bring to market. ... We need to step back and figure out how to ensure in the future that this technology is not something only available to the 0.1 percent." For more on this, see our story at the Berkeley College of Chemistry.
Loading Class list ...
.