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Vanderbilt Prize winner Doudna awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Oct. 7, 2020, 1:24 PM


by Bill Snyder

University of California, Berkeley, biochemist Jennifer Doudna, PhD, recipient of the 2020 Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science, has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Jennifer Doudna, PhD

Doudna shares the Nobel Prize with colleague Emmanuelle Charpentier, PhD, director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, for the co-development of the revolutionary genome editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9.

She is the second recipient of the Vanderbilt Prize in Biomedical Science to subsequently win a Nobel Prize. Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, the 2007 recipient of the Vanderbilt Prize, was one of three researchers awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2009.

Established in 2006 by Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the Vanderbilt Prize recognizes women scientists with a stellar record of research accomplishments who also have made significant contributions to mentoring other women in science.

“On behalf of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, I want to congratulate Dr. Doudna for achieving this remarkable honor,” said Jennifer Pietenpol, PhD, VUMC’s Executive Vice President for Research and the Benjamin F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Oncology. “Her discoveries catalyze research poised to impact human health for years to come.”

Doudna, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator who holds the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences at UC Berkeley, is the 15th recipient of the Vanderbilt Prize.

Recipients are given an honorarium, present a special seminar and mentor a Vanderbilt Prize Scholar, a woman pursuing graduate studies in the biomedical sciences in the School of Medicine. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Doudna’s award presentation has been postponed and will be rescheduled in the coming months.

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