The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was announced at about 3 AM PT on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 by Göran K. Hansson: “This year’s prize is about rewriting the code of life… The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has today decided to award the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for the development of a method for genome editing.”
For everyone at the IGI and everyone who has worked with Jennifer and Emmanuelle, this was thrilling news to wake up to! Since we couldn’t all be together to toast Jennifer on the day, we wanted to share a virtual celebration here in the form of happy videos and photos from the day of the announcement and over the following week.
Like all Nobel announcements in the US, it started in the dark, in the middle of the night.
Outside of her home in Berkeley at about 5 AM, Jennifer talked to Berkeley News about finding out that she won, and her vision for CRISPR: “I’m deeply committed to democratizing technology, and certainly CRISPR-Cas, so it’s available and accessible to people who need it, whether it’s for biomedical uses, agricultural uses, or anything else.”
Later in the morning, Jennifer spoke at a UC Berkeley press conference: “I’m over the moon. I’m in shock.”
You can get an inside look at Jennifer’s day here. In Berlin, Germany, Emmanuelle Charpentier spoke about the prize. “I feel extremely honored to receive this highest recognition from Sweden… I’m very happy to be one of the pioneers of this discovery.”
Both scientists spoke about the significance of the award for girls and women:
Celebrations began! Jennifer’s colleagues, mentees, friends, and family shared their thoughts:
As did Fyodor Urnov, IGI’s Scientific Director of Technology and Translation. “It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive,” he said, quoting Bruce Springsteen.
Jennifer and colleagues and mentees near and far celebrated on Zoom:
And Jennifer celebrated with her family and in person at IGI (masked and distanced, of course). Scroll through to see photos from the in-person and Zoom events: