Jennifer A. Doudna

University of California, Berkeley, HHMI

CRISPR Systems: Biology and Application of Gene Editing


Monday, February 19, 8:00-9:30 PM, Moscone Center

Being named the  2018 Biophysical Society Lecturer is the highest annual award bestowed by the Biophysical Society. In addition to presenting the  Annual Biophysical Society Lecture, the recipient provides a molecule or figure that depicts his/her research. That figure is used in the background design for that year’s Annual Meeting print and web announcements.  

As an internationally renowned professor of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology at U.C. Berkeley, Doudna and her colleagues rocked the research world in 2012 by describing a simple way of editing the DNA of any organism using an RNA-guided protein found in bacteria. This technology, called CRISPR-Cas9, has opened the floodgates of possibility for human and non-human applications of gene editing, including assisting researchers in the fight against HIV, sickle cell disease and muscular dystrophy. Doudna is an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Inventors and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is also a Foreign Member of the Royal Society, and has received many other honors including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the Heineken Prize, the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award and the Japan Prize. She is the co-author with Sam Sternberg of “A Crack in Creation”, a personal account of her research and the societal and ethical implications of gene editing.


The image, based on molecular structures of the RNA-guided protein CRISPR-Cas9, shows how this enzyme finds and cuts DNA within a genome to trigger site-specific genome editing. Artwork created by Janet Iwasa.