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AACR Congratulates Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna on the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

PHILADELPHIA – The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) congratulates Emmanuelle Charpentier, PhD, of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Germany, and Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, of the University of California, Berkeley, both Fellows of the AACR Academy and renowned for their contributions to cancer science, for receiving the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of the CRISPR/Cas9 genome-editing system.

“With the development of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, Drs. Charpentier and Doudna established a groundbreaking genome-editing mechanism that has contributed to monumental progress in molecular biology and genetics and is advancing our understanding of tumor initiation and progression,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), chief executive officer of the AACR. “This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry is richly deserved, and we offer our deepest congratulations to these esteemed scientists.”

Both Charpentier and Doudna were elected as Fellows by their cancer research colleagues in the AACR Academy in 2017. The AACR Academy serves to recognize and honor distinguished scientists whose major scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer. The expertise of the Fellows of the AACR Academy is leveraged to advance the mission of the AACR to prevent and cure all cancers through research, education, communication, and collaboration.

“We celebrate the spectacular achievements of these scientists, whose work is being applied to all aspects of cancer research for the benefit of cancer patients worldwide,” Foti said.

CRISPR/Cas9 stands for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR associated protein 9.” The AACR recently highlighted CRISPR/Cas9 research at its Annual Meeting in 2018, which at the time drew a record-breaking attendance of more than 22,500 attendees. At this meeting, Doudna described her pioneering work involving the use of CRISPR technologies in gene editing and diagnostics during the Fourteenth AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lecture, while Charpentier was featured in a “Meet the Expert” session where she described applications and implications of the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Doudna was also co-chair and a keynote speaker at the AACR Special Conference on Translational Control of Cancer in 2016.