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Umeå researcher honored with Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

november 10th, 2014

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Emmanuelle Charpentier, Umeå Univesity, is one of the awardees of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences 2015. The award recognizes ”excellence in research aimed at finding cures for intractable diseases and extending human life”.

Professor Charpentier is one of the awardees that receive $3 million each for their groundbreaking work in life sciences and fundamental physics. She was honored together with Jennifer Doudna, USA, ”for harnessing an ancient mechanism of bacterial immunity into a powerful and general technology for editing genomes, with wide-ranging implications across biology and medicine”.

Honored for discoveries on CRISPR-Cas9

Emmanuelle Charpentier is honored for her discoveries on CRISPR-Cas9, the defense mechanism in bacteria. Since its discovery in 2012 CRISPR-Cas9 has become an important and precise tool for modification of genomes in a variety of organisms including human cell lines.

About the Breakthrough Prizes

Also called the ”Oscars of Science”, the Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics and Mathematics aim to ”celebrate scientists and generate excitement about the pursuit of science as a career”, as the foundation states on its website.

The Prizes were founded in 2013 by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. The Breakthrough Prizes for Life Sciences honor transformative advances toward understanding living systems and extending human life.

The ceremony will be televised in the US on Discovery Channel and Science Channel on 15 November 2014 and worldwide on BBC World News on 22 November 2014.

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