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Published: 10 Nov, 2014

Emmanuelle Charpentier honored with Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

NEWS 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, U.S.A., "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".

The announcement of the "world's foremost scientists" took place at the second annual Breakthrough Prize ceremony in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, and was hosted by Seth MacFarlane.

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.

"I am very honored and feel very fortunate to be one of the selected scientists and to receive this honor today," said Emmanuelle Charpentier, who 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.
Emmanuelle Charpentier is group leader at MIMS, and visiting professor at Umeå Centre for Microbial Research at Umeå University, Sweden. She is also Alexander von Humboldt professor, at Hannover Medical School, Germany and is heading the department of Regulation in Infection Biology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany.

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.

Read morePress release of the Breakthrough Prize FoundationEmmanuelle Charpentier's research at MIMSEmmanuelle's research at Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research

About the Breakthrough Prizes

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. Each awardee receives $3 million during a spectacular ceremony.

Editor: Eva-Maria Diehl