In perhaps the most consequential Nobel Prize in years, Jennifer Doudna (UC Berkeley) and Emmanuelle Charpentier (Max Planck Institute in Berlin) were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering a novel antiviral defense mechanism used by bacteria, which they ultimately repurposed into the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. DNA editing with the CRISPR-Cas9 system has opened up new frontiers in biomedical research, biotechnology, and the treatment of genetic diseases. Basic research – research with no known clinical or commercial application – is sometimes the most important!

Nobel Prize in Chemistry