The Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong (HKUMed) is delighted to learn that Professor Jennifer A Doudna, who is renowned for her pioneering work on gene editing, has been awarded a joint Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her achievements. Professor Doudna is Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology, President and Chair of the Governance Board of the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI), at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. The IGI began in 2014 through the Li Ka Shing Center for Genetic Engineering where Professor Doudna was Executive Director.
Professor Doudna and her collaborator and co-awardee, Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier, were the first to show, in 2012, that the CRISPR-Cas9 enzymes could be used to edit genomes, offering new hope for treating genetic diseases such as sickle cell anaemia, cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease and diabetes.
“The work of Professor Doudna and Professor Charpentier has revolutionised the fields of genetics, molecular biology and medicine and opened up new frontiers for improving human health, a testament to the foresight of the Li Ka Shing Foundation in supporting their scientific and technological innovation. Professor Doudna was conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Science by HKU in 2017 and the Faculty was honoured to have Professor Doudna as Guest of Honour for HKUMed’s 130th Anniversary cum 198th Congregation. We extend our heartiest congratulations to Professor Doudna and Professor Charpentier on their well-deserved Nobel Prize,” said the Dean of Medicine, Professor Gabriel Leung.