The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2020 was awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Dudna, who developed the technology to edit the genome CRISPR/Cas9, said the Nobel Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Charpentier, a French microbiologist currently working in Germany, and her colleague, the American biochemist Jennifer Dudna (University of Berkeley, California), discovered several years ago the molecular “immunity” of bacteria to protect them from viruses. It was used for ultra-precise editing of genomes of different organisms. Today, scientists from all over the world use the “genome editor” to create approaches to the treatment of severe diseases, including AIDS and hereditary diseases.
“CRISPR/Cas9 method has revolutionized molecular sciences, opened up new opportunities for plant breeding, contributed to innovative methods of cancer treatment and can realize the dream of curing inherited diseases”, – representatives of the Nobel Committee emphasized.
Charpentier and Dudna have been regularly mentioned among the main candidates for the Nobel Prize in recent years.
On Monday and Tuesday, the Nobel Committee announced the names of the winners in physiology and medicine, as well as physics. Tomorrow it will be known who received the Nobel Prize in literature, and on Friday will be named the winner of the Peace Prize. The Nobel Week will come to the end already on October 12 – with the Prize for Economics, established by the State Bank of Sweden in 1969 in memory of Alfred Nobel.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional award ceremony in Stockholm was canceled, as were banquets. Instead, there will be a live broadcast from the Town Hall and an online introduction to the winners (they will be at their university or Swedish embassy), during which they will be presented with diplomas and medals. The amount of each Nobel Prize winner this year has increased to ten million Swedish kroner (about one million dollars).
Nobel Prizes are awarded for outstanding scientific research, revolutionary inventions, or major contributions to culture or community development. They are named after their founder, Swedish chemical engineer, inventor, and industrialist Alfred Nobel.