STOCKHOLM (CBS/AP) — A Harvard Medical School graduate and a French scientist won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday. Jennifer A. Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier were honored for developing a method of genome editing.

Doudna is currently a biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley. She graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1989 with a Ph.D. in biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology.

The recipients were announced Wednesday in Stockholm by Goran Hansson, Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

In a statement, the academy said the two “have discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision. This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.”

Charpentier told reporters from Berlin after hearing of the award that she was “very emotional.”

The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and prize money of more than $1.1 million, courtesy of a bequest left more than a century ago by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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