Professor Dr.

Emmanuelle M. Charpentier

Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens
Biological Sciences
Microbiology and Immunology
International Honorary Member

Emmanuelle Charpentier is a microbiologist, geneticist and biochemist, recognized for her groundbreaking findings in the field of RNA-mediated regulation, particularly with respect to the CRISPR/Cas9 system. She is Scientific and Managing Director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens and Honorary Professor at Humboldt University, Berlin. 

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 was awarded jointly to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna "for the development of a method for genome editing." The Nobel Prize Committee noted that "since Charpentier and Doudna discovered the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors in 2012 their use has exploded. This tool has contributed to many important discoveries in basic research, and plant researchers have been able to develop crops that withstand mould, pests and drought. In medicine, clinical trials of new cancer therapies are underway, and the dream of being able to cure inherited diseases is about to come true. These genetic scissors have taken the life sciences into a new epoch and, in many ways, are bringing the greatest benefit to humankind."

Prior to her current appointments and until 2017, Charpentier was Associate Professor at the Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS, within the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine) and visiting Professor at the Umeå Centre for Microbial Research (UCMR), Umeå University, Sweden. She was also Alexander von Humboldt Professor and Head of Department at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, Germany, and Professor at the Hannover Medical School, Germany.

Charpentier studied biochemistry, genetics and microbiology at the University Pierre and Marie-Curie (now Sorbonne University) in Paris where she received her Ph.D. in microbiology for her research performed at the Pasteur Institute. Following her studies in France, she spent more than five years working in the U.S., where she held research associate positions in New York at the Rockefeller University, New York University Langone Medical Center and the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, and in Memphis, TN, at the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

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