Jennifer Doudna is an American biochemist. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry at Pomona College, California, in 1985, before moving to Harvard University where she obtained her PhD in 1989.
After several postdoctoral positions she moved to Yale in 1994, where she would remain until 2000, leading a team that focused on solving the three-dimensional structure of RNA ribozymes.
After two more years at Harvard she moved to Berkeley as Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, where her research focused on understanding RNA functions via structural and biological methods. While at Berkeley she began a collaboration with Emmanuelle Charpentier. Their work led to a milestone publication in 2012 that marked the development of the CRISPR-Cas9 system as a simple gene-editing tool.
Doudna is still based at the University of California, Berkeley where she is a professor of chemistry and of molecular and cell biology, and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She has been awarded numerous prizes for her work, including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Gruber Genetics Prize and the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize.
Two years after sharing the 2018 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience for her work with CRISPR-based genome editing, she received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this scientific breakthrough.