Professor Jennifer Doudna ForMemRS

Jennifer Doudna grew up in rural Hawaii, where she first became interested in the chemistry of living systems. Dr Doudna is currently the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences and she is Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  Professor Doudna’s research seeks to understand how RNA molecules control the expression of genetic information. Early in her career, Dr Doudna’s lab determined some of the first crystal structures of RNA and RNA-protein complexes, providing unprecedented insights into molecular function of non-protein-coding RNAs. More recently she and collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier determined the mechanism of RNA-guided bacterial adaptive immunity by the CRISPR-Cas9 system, enabling them to harness this system for efficient genome engineering in animals and plants. CRISPR-Cas9 is a transformative technology that is revolutionizing the fields of genetics, molecular biology and medicine. Dr Doudna is a recipient of numerous awards and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Inventors.

Professional position

  • Professor, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley
  • Executive Director, Innovative Genomics Initiative, University of California, Berkeley


  • Nobel Prize in Chemistry

    For the development of a method for genome editing.

  • Croonian Medal and Lecture

    For her outstanding structural and functional studies of RNA and ribonucleoproteins and for elucidating the molecular mechanism of the CRISPR-Cas9 system and developing it for genetic engineering

Professor Jennifer Doudna ForMemRS
Elected 2016