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Source: Deutsche ForschungsgemeinschaftLeibniz Prize winner from 2016 together with Jennifer A. Doudna from the USA for the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene scissors

The German Research Foundation (DFG) congratulates Professor Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier for the Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2020. The scientist from the Max Planck Research Center for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin receives this year’s award together with her American colleague Jennifer A. Doudna for their respective contributions to the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene scissors, such as the Royal Swedish Academy in Stockholm announced today, DFG President Professor Dr. Katja Becker said: “The DFG congratulates Emmanuelle Charpentier, whose name is associated with one of the greatest advancements in the life sciences in recent decades, the CRISPR-Cas9 method. We were only able to recognize this groundbreaking achievement in 2016 with the Leibniz Prize of the DFG. ”The Leibniz Prize for Charpentier was especially dedicated to the discovery and development of the completely new method of targeted genome modification. In her work, Charpentier is generally interested in regulatory processes in infectious diseases that are triggered by bacteria. In this field she also researched CRISPR-Cas, a bacterial defense system against phages. Charpentier – together with Jennifer Doudna in Berkeley – was able to considerably simplify this originally very complex system. That, in turn, was the starting point for the development and use of CRISPR-Cas9 as a cutting tool with which a genome can be modified at any point and with high efficiency and security. Such RNA-based, programmable DNA scissors represent a veritable revolution compared to previous genome modification techniques that are already being used worldwide. Emmanuelle Charpentier is the ninth recipient of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the DFG, which has been awarded since 1985 then received the Nobel Prize. Just yesterday, another Leibniz Prize winner, the astrophysicist Reinhard Genzel, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics – after Hartmut Michel (chemistry, 1988), Erwin Neher and Bert Sakmann (medicine, 1991), Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (medicine, 1995) , Theodor Hänsch (Physics, 2005), Gerhard Ertl (Chemistry, 2007) and Stefan Hell (Chemistry, 2014) Further information on the video portrait by Emmanuelle Charpentier on the award of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2016: Further information on DFG-funded research projects by Emmanuelle Charpentier: Media contact: Technical contact in the DFG head office:


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