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AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lecture Recipients

This award recognizes outstanding science that has the potential to inspire creative thinking and new directions in cancer research. This lectureship is selected by the AACR president, and is not open to nomination.

Jennifer Doudna14th Award Recipient
Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, FAACR
HHMI Investigator
Li Ka Shing Chancellor's Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences
Professor, Depts. of Molecular and Cell Biology and Chemistry
University of California Berkeley
Executive Director, Innovative Genomics Institute
Berkeley, California

Dr. Doudna delivered her award lecture titled "Gene Editing and Diagnostics Using CRISPR Tools" at the AACR Annual Meeting 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The award lecture was held Sunday, April 15, 2018, at the McCormick Place North/South Convention Center.

The AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship was established in 2004, to honor an individual whose outstanding innovations in science and whose position as a thought leader have the potential to inspire creative thinking and new directions in cancer research.

Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, FAACR, is honored for scientific contributions to the fields of cell biology, chemistry, and genetics. Specifically, work related to CRISPR-Cas9 systems including the characterization of these systems in conferring bacterial immunity and the development of CRISPR-Cas9 as a mechanism for prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene editing. There are many who believe her body of work has revolutionized cancer biology and created the foundation for critical applications and studies dedicated to understanding the complexities of cancer initiation and progression.

Dr. Doudna earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biochemistry from Pomona College in 1985. She went to Harvard Medical School for her doctoral study and earned a PhD in biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology in 1989. Dr. 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.

Dr. Doudna has received numerous honors and accolades in her illustrious career. She is 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. She is 2019 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American College of Physicians, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Doudna is a Fellow of the AACR Academy.

2018 AACR-Weinstein Lectureship Presentation.jpg

Award Recipients

  • 2017: Leonard I. Zon, MD
  • 2016: Robert S. Langer
  • 2015: David Baltimore
  • 2014: David Botstein
  • 2013: Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard
  • 2012: Bert Vogelstein
  • 2011: Helen M. Blau
  • 2010: Robert Tjian
  • 2009: James R. Heath
  • 2008: Sydney Brenner 
  • 2007: Alexander Varshavsky
  • 2006: Phillip A. Sharp
  • 2005: Leroy E. Hood


Prior to 2005, this award was known as the AACR Distinguished Lecture.

  • 2004: Leland H. Hartwell
  • 2003: James E. Darnell