Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna jointly received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry today for their 2012 work on the development of Crispr-Cas9 – a method for genome editing. This is the first time a science Nobel has been awarded to two women.
The secretary-general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that this year’s prize is all about rewriting the code of life.
Dr. Doudna and Dr. Charpentier are only the sixth and seventh women to receive the chemistry prize. The Crispr-Cas9 is a kind of genetic scissors that allows researchers to alter the DNA of animals, plants, and microorganisms with extremely high precision. Numerous scientific applications have used it since then, and it will potentially change the world we live in. It’s used to develop cures for conditions like sickle cell disease and hereditary blindness.
Dr. Charpentier said in a virtual press conference that her wish is that this will provide a positive message to the young girls who would like to follow the path of science and show them that women in science can also have an impact through the research they’re performing.
The two of them will share the 10 million Swedish crown prize (around $1.1 million).